LI Congressman meets with Israel's Prime Minister

Aug 6, 2014

Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., gestures during an interview with the Associated Press in this Thursday, May 1, 2014 file photo taken in Washington.
Credit AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Following a visit with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, Long Island Congressman Steve Israel said Netanyahu’s is hoping the temporary cease fire with Hamas will last.

His essential message to us is that Israel wants peace and quiet and hopes that Hamas also wants peace and quiet. And if in fact they do, there can be a sustainable cease fire,” he said.

The Long Island Democratic is leading a bipartisan delegation of nine members of Congress who are visiting Israel this week. They met with the Israeli prime minister in Jerusalem.

Congressman Israel blamed Hamas for the conflict, but says as a U.S. lawmaker he’d support American help to rebuild Gaza. “But Hamas must demilitarize,” he said. “I am interested in the reconstruction of Gaza. I’m not interested in the rearmament of Hamas.”

Israel heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He does not expect the Middle East crisis to be a campaign issue this fall, he said.