Christopher Wray
Christopher WrayReuters/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray made a surprise trip to Israel on Wednesday, where he met with fellow law enforcement and intelligence partners to discuss the ongoing threats facing both countries, The Hill reported.

In a readout of the trip, which was published after Wray’s visit concluded, the FBI chief reiterated the FBI’s support for Israel and pledged to “continue to be responsive” to Israeli requests for “support in their ongoing efforts to keep their citizens safe from the threats and acts of terrorism.”

He also thanked his counterparts for their collaborative efforts on defeating threats from foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), which have been on the rise since the October 7 attack by Hamas.

“The FBI’s partnership with our Israeli counterparts is longstanding, close, and robust, and I’m confident the closeness of our agencies contributed to our ability to move so quickly in response to these attacks, and to ensure our support is as seamless as possible,” Wray said in a statement quoted by The Hill.

The readout said Wray’s primary focus is the FBI’s work “to confront the elevated threat” from FTOs, which, the stated said, “have expressed support and praise for the attacks on Israel and threatened to attack US interests both abroad and in the homeland.”

While in Israel, Wray met with FBI officials based in Tel Aviv and thanked them for their work combating ongoing threats of FTOs and for providing services to US victims of the October 7 attack, the readout said. He also met with officials at the US Embassy.

The readout said Wray met with Israeli intelligence and law enforcement officials as well.

Wray’s trip follows recent criticism by the US of Israel’s military operation in Gaza, particularly from President Joe Biden, who was initially very supportive of Israel but has changed his tone in recent weeks.

Last Thursday, Biden told reporters at the White House, "I'm of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza, in the Gaza Strip, has been over the top.”

The President added that he is working hard to bring about a lasting pause in the fighting in order to facilitate a deal for the release of hostages and the entry of additional humanitarian aid to the Strip.

A day later, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre clarified that Biden was referring to Israel’s military operation when he described the conduct of the response in Gaza as “over the top”.