Foreign Affairs Committee’s Royce and Engel to visit Israel

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Reps. Ed Royce and Eliot Engel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee will visit Israel this week.

Royce (R-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, and Engel (D-N.Y.), its ranking member, are scheduled to meet with Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, as well as Palestinian Authority officials. They also will tour an Iron Dome battery, according to a statement from the House committee.

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In a statement, Royce said the lawmakers “are traveling to Israel to show bipartisan support at a critical time.”

“With Iran’s backing, Hamas was able to launch a barrage of rockets on innocent Israelis, reaching further and deeper into the country. Now with a cease-fire in place, we’ll be meeting with senior Israeli leaders as they chart their course forward,” he said. “We’ll also assess the other threats to Israel – and the United States – including Iran’s nuclear program and the continuing Syrian implosion and its severe humanitarian and security consequences.”

Engel said in a statement that the two lawmakers “are making this trip to deliver a clear message: the Congress and the people of the United States stand with Israel.”

Last month, the committee unanimously passed an amended version of the Emergency Iron Dome Replenishment Act that authorizes the continued supplying of the missile defense system.