U.S. Senator Takes Refuge in Israel as Hamas Bombards Gaza
U.S. Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, was in Israel when Hamas launched a surprise attack on the country on Saturday, October 8, 2023. Booker and his staff were forced to shelter in place in Jerusalem for their safety.
A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Booker went to the country in part to deliver a speech at an event marking the deals brokered by the Trump administration to normalize relations between Israel and Arab nations.
Booker was in Israel for a series of meetings with Israeli officials and to attend an economic summit. He had arrived in the country on Friday, October 7, and was scheduled to depart on Tuesday, October 10.
“On Friday, October 6, Senator Booker arrived in Israel for several days of planned meetings and site visits ahead of the start of an Abraham Accords-focused N7 summit on regional economic integration in Tel Aviv, at which he was scheduled to speak on Tuesday,” said Booker’s spokesperson Maya Krishna-Rogers.
“Senator Booker and accompanying staff were in Jerusalem when Hamas launched their attacks against Israel on Saturday, and sheltered in place for their safety. We are grateful that Senator Booker and our colleagues were able to safely depart Israel earlier today,” the statement added.
The Hamas attack forced Booker to cut his trip short. He and his staff departed from Israel on Sunday, October 9.
“I emphatically condemn Hamas’ horrific acts of violence, kidnapping and terror targeting Israeli families, children and other civilians in towns and cities across the nation of Israel. I stand with the people of Israel and the families of those who have lost loved ones,” Booker said in a statement on Saturday.
Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), was also in Israel over the weekend with his wife and three youngest children for a family Bar Mitzvah, his office said in a statement.
“Congressman Goldman and his family sheltered from Hamas rocket fire in their hotel’s interior stairwell until early Sunday morning, when they were able to safely depart for New York,” the statement added.
“We have reports that several Americans were killed. We’re working overtime to verify that. At the same time, there are reports of missing Americans and there again, we’re working to verify those reports,” the top U.S. diplomat said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
I was in Israel when the horrific attacks carried out by Hamas started on Saturday. My team and I are now safe, but like many we are shaken, angered, and heartbroken by the hundreds killed, the thousands injured, those taken hostage, and all who are directly affected by these… pic.twitter.com/E4BgEZxSTC
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 8, 2023