OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
1:51 PM – Friday, November 10, 2023
Former New Jersey governor and 2024 GOP contender Chris Christie has planned a trip to visit Israel, making him the first Republican presidential candidate to visit the war-torn country since Hamas launched attacks on October 7th.
Christie claimed that the Israeli government reached out to him last week with an invite to visit the nation.
“They said they appreciated the things I was saying and the stance I was taking and if I was interested in coming over, they would be able to welcome me, and I made the decision to come,” Christie said.
The former New Jersey governor is slated to visit Israel on Sunday, where he will meet with the families of those who have been taken hostage by Hamas.
Additionally, Christie is expected to meet with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, Israeli government officials, and he is also scheduled to visit the Gaza envelope region in southern Israel, according to an itinerary of the trip that was obtained by the press.
On Wednesday night, Christie publicly urged Israel to protect both its territorial integrity and the safety of its civilians in a speech during the 3rd Republican presidential debate in Miami, Florida.
“The fact is that Israel and their intelligence community failed. They failed here, and they failed the people of the State of Israel,” he argued, saying the U.S. needs to work closely with Israel to improve intelligence-gathering in the region.
He also encouraged Israeli leaders to “keep your eye on the ball,” in terms of working with “reasonable” Arab nations and isolating Iran in the Middle East.
Christie informed reporters that he cannot divulge further details about his trip to Israel until he arrives, citing “safety concerns.”
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