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Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee traveled to Israel on Sunday to survey the damage stemming from the country’s recent military clashes with Hamas.
The senators will tour several southern cities damaged in the fighting during their trip, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Cruz and Hagerty will also meet with Israeli leaders in a show of support following the most intense fighting in the region since 2014.
Cruz told the Free Beacon said he made the trip “to hear and see firsthand what our Israeli allies need to defend themselves and to show the international community that we stand unequivocally with Israel.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet approved a cease-fire with Hamas earlier this month following 11 days of fighting. President Biden and other top members of his administration have publicly called for an end to hostilities.
Biden has pledged to aid Israeli’s effort to replenish its “Iron Dome” missile defense system as well as financial aid for reconstruction in Gaza.
“I’m joining Senator Cruz, my colleague on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to visit Israel and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our allies after they endured the worst terrorist attacks in recent years because I want to see firsthand what more the U.S. can do to strengthen our vital alliance with Israel at a time when terrorists like Hamas and Hezbollah and terror-sponsoring regimes in Iran and Syria are making the Middle East more dangerous,” Hagerty said in a statement.
Cruz and other top Republicans have accused Democrats of failing to adequately support Israel, a key US ally. Notable progressives, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, had raised objections to a planned $735 million arms sale to Israel.
Cruz and Hagerty were among a group of Senate Republicans who introduced a resolution supporting additional arms sales.
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