William J. Burns, Director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), arrived in Israel yesterday as part of a tour of several countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, Julian E. Barnes, a New York Times correspondent who covers United States (US) intelligence agencies and international security issues, said in a report citing an unnamed US official.
Burns, one of the most trusted bureaucrats of the Biden administration on the Middle East, will meet with Israeli officials to discuss US efforts to prevent the expansion of the war and the addition of fronts, the report said.
He will also discuss efforts to secure the release of Israeli hostages. The US official said Burns would travel to several Middle Eastern countries to discuss the situation in Gaza, the ongoing hostage negotiations, and the importance of deterring the war with Hamas from spreading into a broader context.
The visit comes at a time when the US is trying to encourage Israel to take a more targeted approach to attacking Hamas, to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, and to do more to prevent civilian casualties.
At the same time, the US is looking for ways to increase intelligence sharing with Israel to provide information on the whereabouts of Jewish hostages and to break the resistance of Hamas' armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, on the ground.
Informing about the visit, the US official said that the CIA Director plans to strengthen America's commitment to intelligence cooperation with partners in the region.
On the other hand, the US is entering a period in which the reaction to Israel's genocide is about to reach its peak.
The CIA is worried as activists launch petitions to stop Israel's genocide in the Gaza Strip and tensions rise on university campuses.
Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, announced that they launched a comprehensive attack against Israel called "Al-Aqsa Flood" on the morning of October 7.
While thousands of rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel, armed groups entered the settlements in the region. The Israeli army also launched an attack on the Gaza Strip with dozens of warplanes. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that Israel killed 9 thousand 922 people, including 3 thousand 900 children, 2 thousand 509 women, and 397 elderly people. It injured at least 32 thousand people in its attacks on Gaza.
It was reported that 1400 Israelis, including 324 soldiers, were killed and 5 thousand 132 Israelis were wounded in the attacks from Gaza.
The Israeli army hit Damascus and Aleppo airports. As the Middle East is once again turning into a bloodbath, a deadline has been set for nearly 2 and a half million Palestinians to leave the blockaded Gaza.
In the occupied West Bank, 106 Palestinians were killed in attacks by Israeli forces and Jewish settlers. In Israel's attacks on Gaza, 38 journalists were killed.
In the clashes between the Israeli army and Hezbollah on the Israel-Lebanon border since October 8, 55 Hezbollah members and 4 civilians, one of whom was a journalist, were killed. Three Israeli soldiers and one Israeli civilian were killed in the attacks organized by Lebanon.
Most recently, Israel attacked the Jabalia Refugee Camp in Gaza, killing civilians.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he was breaking off all contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because of Israeli attacks on civilians in the Gaza Strip.
Source: New York Times