(The Hill) – Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said Sunday he is “shaken” from Hamas’s attacks on Israel after he and his staff were forced to shelter in place while in Jerusalem on Saturday.
“I was in Israel when the horrific attacks carried out by Hamas started on Saturday,” Booker wrote Sunday in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “My team and I are now safe, but like many we are shaken, angered, and heartbroken by the hundreds killed, the thousands injured, those taken hostage, and all who are directly affected by these sickening terrorist attacks.”
In a video posted to X, Booker recounted being in Jerusalem on a run when Hamas’s attacks began and he was advised to get back to his hotel. The New Jersey Democrat said he joined others in a bomb shelter in the stairwell of the hotel.
“Frightened faces, there were children and elderly, families, many Americans,” Booker said. “There was a sense of fear and worry and a knowledge to many of us that there were horrific things going on around the country at that time.”
Booker’s office confirmed earlier Sunday he and his staff departed Israel on Sunday, cutting his trip short in the wake of the violence. Booker arrived in the country last Friday and had plans to stay through at least Tuesday, when he had a scheduled talk about regional economic integration, his spokesperson said.
Hamas launched the largest attack on Israel in decades early Saturday, sending forces into multiple Israeli towns, along with a bombardment of rocket fire in a surprise offensive.
The death toll has surpassed 1,100, with thousands more Israelis and Palestinians wounded.
Booker called for a rejection of those using “terror as a weapon.”
“We who believe in peace and freedom and human rights, for Palestinians, for Israelis, for all humankind, must reject those who use terror as their weapon,” Booker said.