Largest Warship in the World Docks Off Haifa Coast

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks as David Friedman, the United States Ambassador to Israel, sits next to him during a tour aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush, as it docks at Haifa port, Monday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

Over 5,000 U.S. Navy sailors are getting some rest and relaxation on shore leave in Israel, as the U.S. aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush docked near Haifa port over the weekend. The largest warship in the world, the George H. W. Bush, named for the former president, is fresh from missions in Iraq and Syria, where it attacked and destroyed IS installations.

Because of its size, the ship was unable to enter Haifa Port, which is too shallow and small to accommodate the 1,000-foot-long ship. The ship is docked adjacent to the entrance of the port, with personnel offloaded and transferred back to the ship in smaller vessels. The last time a mega-sized aircraft carrier docked in Israel was 17 years ago.

Personnel are mostly in Haifa. Visitors in limited numbers are being invited to tour the ship. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman are expected to visit the ship and meet its personnel, their offices said.