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Indiana governor traveling to Israel during 'hour of need'

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governor is traveling to Israel in the wake of the cease-fire to the 11-day war between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office announced Tuesday morning he would be in Israel Tuesday and Wednesday at the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Republican governor cited business and cultural ties between Indiana and Israel for making the trip.

“I stand in support of Israel and look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu to continue forging an even stronger Israel-Indiana bond,” Holcomb said in a statement. “When I was invited, I did not hesitate to make this trip to meet in Israel during such an hour of need.”

The governor’s trip comes as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt to an attempt to secure the Gaza peace.

Holcomb previously traveled as governor to Israel in 2018 for economic development meetings. The governor’s office says Holcomb will return to Indiana on Thursday and that the trip is being paid for by Imagine Indiana Inc., a nonprofit group whose directors include his 2016 and 2020 campaign managers.

The Associated Press