CIA Chief visits Israel, Palestine Territories

Middle East Monitor  /  January 27, 2023

CIA Chief, William Burns, has made an unannounced visit to the Palestinian Territories and Tel Aviv, coinciding with the escalation of tensions between the two sides, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said on Friday that Burns arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday and met with senior Israeli officials, including the head of Mossad, David Barnea.

It indicated that Burns is also visiting the Palestinian Territories, without disclosing further details.

Burns’ visit comes after the visit of US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, and prior to the visit of Washington’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to the Palestinian Territories and Israel, which are expected on Monday and Tuesday.

On Thursday, the Palestinian leadership announced the cessation of security coordination with Israel in response to the killing of nine Palestinians and the wounding of 20 others, in an Israeli incursion into the Jenin refugee camp, in the northern West Bank.

The US administration called on the Palestinian and Israeli sides to reduce tension.

On Thursday, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf, dismissed the Palestinian Authority’s decision to stop security coordination with Israel.