update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Israeli FM asks former VP Pence to help free hostages

Jerusalem "has no choice but to hunt down and destroy Hamas," the visiting American tweeted.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz meets with former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Jan. 7, 2024. Credit: Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz meets with former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Jan. 7, 2024. Credit: Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz met with former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Tel Aviv on Sunday alongside families of hostages held captive by the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.

“Mike Pence is a true friend of Israel who has stood by our side as a governor and vice president. I met with him today to enlist his help in our public relations campaign in the United States and to assist in the return of the hostages,” said the foreign minister, according to his office.

“Family members of the hostages Idan Alexander and Dror Or attended the meeting and told their stories to former Vice President Pence. I could tell that for him, they were like his own children. We will continue to do everything for their return,” Katz added.

Katz, who was installed as foreign minister last week, has vowed to make the return of the hostages his ministry’s top priority.

Since arriving in the Jewish state on Jan. 4, Pence has met with a variety of Israeli officials, including President Isaac Herzog, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana and military leaders.

The American also visited southern communities devastated during Hamas’s Oct. 7 cross-border massacre and met with survivors. On Saturday night, Pence attended a Havdalah ceremony marking the end of Shabbat, with Israeli families displaced from their homes.

“Hamas perpetrated unspeakable acts of evil that day and Israel has no choice but to hunt down and destroy Hamas once and for all. America Stands With Israel,” Pence wrote on X on Thursday following a visit to Kibbutz Kfar Aza, where Hamas terrorists murdered 56 people on Oct. 7.

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