Israel Palestine Conflict

FBI director Christopher Wray reiterates support for Israel during unannounced trip

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The director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation made an unannounced trip to Israel to meet with the country’s law and intelligence agencies as it fights a bloody war in Gaza, the FBI said Wednesday.

Christopher Wray also met with FBI agents based in Tel Aviv, according to a statement from the bureau, stressing the importance of their work on Palestinian militant group Hamas and Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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He reiterated the FBI’s support of Israel in the wake of the October 7 attacks by Hamas.

“The FBI’s partnership with our Israeli counterparts is longstanding, close, and robust, and I’m confident the closeness of our agencies contributed to our ability to move so quickly in response to these attacks, and to ensure our support is as seamless as possible,” Wray was quoted as saying in the statement.

On October 7, Hamas militants infiltrated Israel from the besieged Gaza Strip and attacked several communities in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of around 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Militants also took around 250 people hostage, in the deadliest-ever attack in the country.

Around 130 of the hostages are believed to remain in Gaza, including 29 who are believed to be dead.

Israel has responded with a relentless military campaign in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 28,500 people, mostly women, children and adolescents, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled territory.

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The United States, while backing Israel’s right to respond, has voiced alarm over civilian casualties in Gaza Strip and criticized Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Wray’s “key focus” is the FBI’s efforts against foreign organizations praising the attacks on Israel and threatening to attack the United States, both abroad and at home, the bureau statement said.

It said the FBI “has and will continue to be responsive to requests” from Israel for support.

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