California Gov. Gavin Newsom heads to Israel amid Israel-Hamas War – NBC Los Angeles

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday he was en route to Israel amid rising conflict in the Middle East.

In a short post on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday, the state’s governor said, “I’m on my way to Israel. I’ll be meeting with those impacted by the horrific terrorist attacks and offering California’s support.”

The Democratic governor will arrive in Israel Friday and will depart the same day. The announcement by Newsom’s office did not specify where the governor would go.

On the day of Hamas’ attack on Israel, Newsom posted his support for Israel on X and denounced the act of terrorism.

His office said California will send medical supplies to the region, including to the Gaza Strip.

California is home to the largest population of Arab Americans in the United States, according to the Arab American Institute. It also has the second-largest populations of Jews in the U.S., according to the American Jewish Population Project at Brandeis University.

The war that began on Oct. 7 after Hamas militants stormed into Israel, and Israel vowed to destroy the militant group, has become the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides.

The Israeli military has relentlessly attacked Gaza in retaliation for a devastating Hamas rampage almost two weeks ago. Even after Israel told Palestinians to evacuate the north of Gaza and flee south, strikes extended across the territory, heightening fears among the territory’s 2.3 million people that nowhere was safe.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians slain during Hamas’ deadly incursion on Oct. 7. Roughly 200 others were abducted. The Israeli military said Thursday it had notified the families of 203 captives.

The Gaza Health Ministry said 3,785 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, the majority of them women, children and older adults. Nearly 12,500 others were injured, and another 1,300 people were believed buried under the rubble, health authorities said.

More than 1 million Palestinians, roughly half of Gaza’s population, have fled their homes in Gaza City and other places in the northern part of the territory since Israel told them to evacuate. Most have crowded into U.N.-run schools-turned-shelters or the homes of relatives.

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