WASHINGTON−Sen. Cory Booker was jogging Saturday in Jerusalem when the attacks began.
As Hamas militants moved into Israel, as thousands of rockets were launched, the New Jersey Democrat was advised by his chief of staff to get back to his hotel, Booker said in a video Saturday evening on X, formerly Twitter.
He took cover in a hotel bomb shelter with others, including “many Americans.”
“Frightened faces, there were children and elderly, families, many Americans,” Booker said in the video. “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, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, arrived in Israel Friday ahead of the Abraham Accords summit in Tel Aviv, where he was scheduled to speak Tuesday. His office confirmed earlier Sunday he would be leaving the country early because of the war.
He mourned the hundreds who have been killed and the thousands who have been wounded in attacks he described as “staggering.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier Sunday his department is working overtime to verify reports that “several” Americans have died or been taken hostage.
“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,” Booker said on X. “After this experience, more than ever, I am committed to working with my colleagues in the Senate to continue supporting Israel’s security and ensuring stability in the region — and I hope one day soon, a long-term and just peace in the region.”
The Senate is on recess this week and will reconvene Monday, Oct. 16.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cory Booker shares video after being in Israel bomb shelter in attack