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Schumer, Romney shelter from Hamas rocket fire in Tel Aviv as US delegation meets with Israeli leaders

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday said he and other members of a bipartisan delegation of senators were forced to shelter in Tel Aviv after Hamas fired a barrage of rockets while the lawmakers prepared to meet with Israeli leaders.

Schumer, D-N.Y., posted a photo on X showing himself, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and others standing in a close-quarters shelter.

“While in Tel Aviv today, our delegation was rushed to a shelter to wait out rockets sent by Hamas,” the majority leader wrote. “It shows you what Israelis have to go through. We must provide Israel with the support required to defend itself.”

Schumer, the first Jewish Senate majority leader and the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the U.S., led a bipartisan group of senators, including Republican Sens. Romney and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Democratic Sens. Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Mark Kelly of Arizona.

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Schumer posted a photo of himself, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, and others sheltering after he says Hamas fired rockets during their meeting with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv on Sunday. (Sen. Chuck Schumer/X)

Schumer said the delegation was having “good, productive meetings” with Israeli leaders, which included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and senior opposition figure Benny Gantz, who is part of a newly formed wartime cabinet in Israel.

US delegation and Israeli President Isaac Herzog

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer shakes hands with Israeli President Isaac Herzog during a meeting that included Sens. Bill Cassidy, Jacky Rosen, Mitt Romney and Mark Kelly. (Sen. Chuck Schumer/X)

Discussions were expected to include what kind of support Israel needs for both military and humanitarian operations. 

US delegation meeting with Netanyahu

Schumer and the U.S. delegation meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Sen. Chuck Schumer/X)

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“I’ll lead the effort in the US Senate to provide Israel with the support required to defend itself from this monstrous attack,” Schumer wrote on X.

An Israeli ground assault on Gaza was looming on Sunday after Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,300 Israelis, most of them civilians, and took dozens of hostages back to Gaza. The Gaza Health Ministry said more than 2,300 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting erupted.

While negotiations are ongoing, Schumer earlier said he expects any spending package should include aid for Israel and Ukraine, along with possible aid for Taiwan as it faces threats from Beijing and money for the U.S. border.

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Other high-ranking U.S. officials who have visited Israel in recent days included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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