CIA Director to Visit Israel

NEW YORK -
William Burns, nominee for Central Intelligence Agency director, testifies during his Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool via AP)

CIA Director Bill Burns is expected to travel to Israel on Tuesday for the first time since assuming the role, Axios reported. Burns is also expected to travel to Ramallah and meet with officials of the Palestinian Authority.

Burns and his Israeli counterparts, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Mossad head David Barnea. They are expected to meet to discuss Iran’s nuclear  program and its activity in the region, as tensions flare over rockets from Lebanon and Iranian attacks on cargo ships in the gulf of Oman.

Iran’s new hardline president Ebrahim Raisi, hosted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh at his inauguration.

Burns, who previously served in the State Department, has a close relationship with the new Israeli ambassador to Washington Mike Herzog. The CIA has close working relationships with the Mossad, especially regarding Iran, and the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence service.

Burns previously led the negotiations with Iran in 2013 that preceded the 2015 nuclear deal.

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smarcus@hamodia.com