US Ambassador the United Nations ends Israel tour; Haley toured Israel’s borders, Hamas tunnel and held meetings with IDF and Israeli officials; Haley and Lieberman meet, talks centered on Hezbollah
Nikki Haley finished her three-day Israel tour, meeting with several Israeli and IDF officials and touring Israel’s northern borders and border with the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday Haley traveled to southern Israel, an IDF delegation giving Haley a tour at Kerem Shalom on the border with the Gaza Strip led by Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon.
Haley toured Hamas tunnels that were used for smuggling weapons and militants, hearing of the IDF’s work to secure the border and detect and destroy tunnels, many of which were created by Hamas to capture IDF soldiers.
Danon spoke to Haley of Hamas’s efforts and the threats posed to Israel. He also thanked the United States for their support in returning the bodies of soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul who Hamas has kept since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Haley having previously met with the parents of the fallen soldiers. Danon stated “Hamas is displaying appalling cruelty by holding the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul hostage in Gaza. We greatly appreciate America’s assistance with our efforts to ensure that they are returned home for a proper burial.”
Haley’s tour of the tunnels came just as United Nations Relief and Works Agency announced that it has discovered a Hamas tunnel under two of its schools, Prime Minister Netanyahu calling to dismantle the UNRWA.
She then toured Israel’s northern borders with Lebanon and Syria, meeting with Israel and IDF officials on threats to Israel, including ISIS and Hezbollah. She met with residents in the Golan Heights and also toured Israel’s field hospital to treat injured Syrians.
Haley then visited Israel’s national Holocaust museum Yad Vashem in Jerusalem where she stated on her experience“ It was an extremely moving experience and a reminder that in times of crisis, we must always take sides.”
The ambassador then held her final meeting in Israel, meeting with Israel’s Defense Minister in Jerusalem, Avigdor Lieberman, their meeting centered on discussing threats to Israel, mainly that of Hezbollah.
Lieberman spoke in detail of a top ranking Hamas militant that recently arrived in Lebanon , Saleh al-Arouri. Lieberman reported that the terrorist is working with two additional high-ranking Hamas terrorists from Lebanon to carry out attacks on Israel.
He stated “The three, headed by Saleh al-Arouri, will continue trying to activate terror against Israel from Lebanon, and at the same time strengthen ties between Hamas and Hezbollah. All this, under an Iranian umbrella and the help of the Revolutionary Guards and Qasem Soleimani,” the head of the al-Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
He added that “Arouri is a dangerous terrorist who’s responsible for deadly terror attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel, and he mustn’t be allowed to carry on with his actions.”
The defense minister spoke of Lebanon’s responsibility for terrorist activity in its country, Lieberman stating “Lebanon is a sovereign state that maintains ties with the U.S. – ties that include bilateral meetings at the highest levels both in Beirut and in Washington. As far as we’re concerned, Lebanon is responsible for what happens inside it and for terror activity that will emerge from it. That why it’s important that the U.S. work with the Lebanese government with the aim of expelling the three senior Hamas figures and preventing the establishment of another terrorist headquarters in its territory.”