Nikki Haley writes 'finish them' on Israeli artillery shell: A look at her trip to Israel and her past comments on the war in Gaza

Nikki Haley signs an IDF artillery shell on May 28.
Nikki Haley signs an IDF artillery shell on May 28. (via X @dannydanon)

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley wrote “Finish them!” on an Israeli military artillery shell during a visit to Israel over Memorial Day weekend.

That same weekend, Israel launched airstrikes near Rafah, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip where more than half of the Palestinian population has been displaced since the start of the war eight months ago.

Haley, who lost the bid for the 2024 Republican nomination to former President Donald Trump, was touring a community that Hamas militants attacked on Oct. 7. She was visiting less than 24 hours after an Israeli strike killed 45 Palestinians at an encampment for people displaced by war.

On the artillery shell, she added, “America ♥️ Israel!” and signed her name alongside her note.

Danny Danon, former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. and a current member of the Israeli Parliament, originally shared the photos of him and Haley signing the shells with the caption “Finish them!” and said the Israeli Defense Forces “can win!”

It’s not the first time Haley has shared this message. In a Fox News interview from Oct. 7, Haley called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “finish them,” referring to Hamas.

“Finish them. Hamas did this, you know Iran is behind it, finish them,” she said. “They should have hell to pay for what they’ve just done.”

As U.N. ambassador in 2018, Haley, alongside Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, pushed for the U.S. to withdraw its funding for an agency that assisted millions of Palestinian refugees.

An interview with Haley was published in the Israel Hayom newspaper on May 28. The paper is the country’s most widely distributed daily publication and is owned by Netanyahu’s family friend, who is married to Republican donor Miriam Adelson.

In the interview, Haley called “on Israel to ignore the restrictions imposed by President Biden regarding the war in Gaza” and to “continue” fighting “until Hamas is eliminated.” Biden told CNN in early May that the U.S. would withhold military assistance if Israel launches an attack on Rafah.

“Israel, they’re the good guys,” Haley said. “And you know what I want Israelis to know? You’re doing the right thing. Don’t let anybody make you feel wrong.”

Haley added that the U.S. should continue to support Israel unconditionally and said the nation had done nothing wrong since Hamas attacked on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people. As of May 20, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry estimates 35,562 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7.