Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Thursday in Israel with a bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation led by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).

“I do want to thank you for your consistent support, broad-based support—very important for us. The bipartisan support for Israel is a mainstay of our national security,” said Netanyahu. “It is not something that we just say pro forma. It is deep and abiding.”

The delegation included Hastings, also the U.S. House of Representatives chairman of the Helsinki Commission—an independent U.S. government agency that monitors compliance with the 1975 Helsinki Accords, which seeks to enhance security and cooperation in the region; Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.); Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.); Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.); and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), also the U.S. Senate chairman of the commission.

The delegation met with Israeli, Palestinian, local civil society and religious leaders to discuss issues such as security challenges in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“This trip came at a sensitive political moment for elections and an impasse in the peace process,” Hastings told JNS. “While no clear opportunities emerged, we are affirmed by the belief that parliamentary diplomacy is essential to bridge divides.”

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