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Texas, Oklahoma governors visit Israel in show of solidarity

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(The Center Square) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt met with Israeli leaders and terrorist survivors in a trip to the Middle East Thursday in an effort to show solitary with the Jewish nation that is now at war with the Hamas terrorist group.

Abbott and Stitt arrived in Israel Thursday morning. They met with Israeli officials and plan to meet with survivors and impacted families of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack.

Abbott went to Israel, he said in a statement, to learn of more ways “that Texas can continue to support Israel – America’s strongest ally in the Middle East.”

He’s also there “to reaffirm Texas’ enduring and unwavering support of the State of Israel, the Israeli people, and Israel’s right to self-defense amid acts of war by the brutal terrorist organization Hamas,” he said.

“There is a deep, enduring bond between Texas and Israel, with the blessings of freedom and burdens of vigilance embedded in the histories of both our people,” the Texas governor said in a statement. “Unfortunately, never has freedom in Israel been more threatened than it is right now – and the people of Israel are vigorously fighting to defend it. I look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of this horrific war and how we can continue to help Israel safeguard their freedom during this trip. Texas stands ready to offer our complete and total support to Israel in their fight against brutal terrorist organizations like Hamas.”

Abbott and Stitt are visiting survivors of the Hamas terrorist attack at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center–Ichilov.

The governors also met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and the Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest coordinated details of the trip.

Also on Thursday, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that Texas purchased $45 million in Israeli bonds in addition to the $20 million it purchased three weeks ago.

The fixed-rate bonds mature in three years and carry an interest rate of 5.4%. Purchasing them is expected to provide additional liquidity to Israel, the comptroller said.

“I am pleased to be able to continue supporting Israel,” Hegar said. “They are a friend and ally of Texas, and we are proud to stand by them and provide support as they defend themselves. Israel is also a reliable counterparty, and their perfect record of interest and principal payments make this a solid investment for Texas.”

Since 1994, Texas has invested in Israeli bonds every year. After this purchase, Texas will hold roughly $140 million in Israeli bonds.

Texas has advanced multiple resources to support its Jewish community, including bolstering law enforcement presence around Jewish institutions statewide, encouraging schools statewide to utilize resources “to increase awareness and understanding” about the Israel-Hamas conflict, and surging millions in funding to help Jewish organizations to enhance security efforts.

Abbott recently held an emergency meeting with the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission to identify ways Texans can quickly report and take pre-emptive action against acts of antisemitism.

Texas DPS is also encouraging Texans to use iWatch, a free, anonymous resource to report suspicious activity. Reports can be made on the iWatch website, phone app and by calling 844-643-2251.

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