Washington — Sen.safely departed Israel on Sunday after Hamas militants against the country, according to his spokesperson.
The New Jersey Democrat and his staff were in Jerusalem when Hamas began carrying out its"and sheltered in place for their safety," his spokesperson Maya Krishna-Rogers said in a statement Sunday afternoon.
"We are grateful that Sen. Booker and our colleagues were able to safely depart Israel earlier today," she said.
Booker, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, arrived in Israel on Friday for several days of meetings ahead of a summit on regional economic integration in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, which he was supposed to participate in, his office said.
"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 wrote on social media on Saturday.
The attack has left hundreds dead and thousands more injured.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog"Face the Nation" on Sunday that it is his understanding that Americans have been taken hostage by Hamas militants, but he didn't have details.
Secretary of State Antony Blinkenthe U.S. has not yet verified reports that Americans have been killed or taken hostage.
"We've got reports that several Americans are among the dead. We're working very actively to verify those reports. At the same time, the reports of Americans being taken hostage — there too, we're working to get the facts to find out if those reports are accurate," Blinken told "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
Several U.S.-based airlines have said they'veto and from the international airport near Tel Aviv in response to the conflict.
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