Nikki Haley writes 'finish them' on IDF shell during Israel visit

Nikki Haley wrote "finish them!" on the side of an IDF artillery shell during a visit to Israel.

Ms Haley, who was Donald Trump's last-standing rival in the contest to be this year's Republican presidential nominee, visited several places alongside Danny Danon, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party in the Knesset, Israel's parliament.

Mr Danon tweeted a collage of four pictures of himself and Ms Haley, including one of her crouching down to write on an Israeli Defence Force artillery shell.

His post began with "Finish them!" in English. He then added in Hebrew: "This is what my friend, the former ambassador, Nikki Haley wrote today about a shell during a visit to an artillery post on the northern border."

Close-up pictures of Ms Haley's message show she added: "America [heart] Israel. Always, Nikki Haley."

Ms Haley was touring Israel's northern border with Lebanon, according to the Associated Press.

She served as Mr Trump's US ambassador to the United Nations from 2017 to late 2018 and has been a strong supporter of Israel.

Her visit came days after Israeli strikes hit the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than a million Palestinians fled after being told it was a "safe zone" by Israel.

On Sunday, an IDF strike hit an area housing displaced Palestinians and killed at least 45 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

Footage verified by Sky News showed numerous bodies being pulled from the wreckage of buildings. In one video, a man can be seen carrying the body of a decapitated child.

The strike was carried out using a type of bomb supplied by the US, Sky News analysis found.

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As Israel faced condemnation, Mr Netanyahu labelled the initial strike a "tragic mistake" and the Israeli military suggested the fires seen on Sunday may have been caused by secondary explosions, possibly from a Hamas munitions dump.

There have been other strikes on Rafah since, according to witnesses, first responders and hospital officials.

On Tuesday, Israel began sending tanks into the city for the first time, defying an order from the International Court of Justice to end its attacks there.

The strikes have reignited support for Palestinians on social media and an AI-generated "All Eyes on Rafah" image had been shared on Instagram Stories more than 43.9 million times as of Wednesday evening.

More than 36,100 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of Israel's military action last year, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Israel responded after Hamas killed around 1,200 people and took hundreds hostage in attacks on 7 October 2023.