When the attacks began, Senator Cory Booker was out for a jog in Jerusalem on Saturday. As Hamas militants crossed into Israel and thousands of rockets were launched, Booker’s chief of staff advised him to return to his hotel.
In a video posted on X on Saturday evening, Booker shared that he sought refuge in a hotel bomb shelter with several other individuals, including many Americans.
Booker described the atmosphere in the shelter as tense, with frightened faces, children, elderly individuals, and families.
There was a palpable sense of fear and concern among those present, as they were aware of the severe events unfolding across the country.
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Booker had arrived in Israel on Friday in preparation for the Abraham Accords summit in Tel Aviv, where he was scheduled to speak on Tuesday.
However, his office confirmed on Sunday that he would depart the country early due to the ongoing conflict.
He expressed deep sorrow for the hundreds of lives lost and the thousands injured in what he called “shocking” attacks.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously stated that his department was working tirelessly to verify reports of several Americans losing their lives or being held hostage.
In his message posted on X, Senator Booker assured that he and his team were safe, but like many others, they were shaken, angered, and heartbroken by the tragic consequences of these terrorist attacks.
He reiterated his commitment to working alongside his Senate colleagues to support Israel’s security and promote regional stability.
He also expressed the hope for a lasting and just peace in the region in the not-too-distant future. The Senate is on recess this week and is scheduled to reconvene on Monday, October 16.