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U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson heads to Israel

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson left Sunday for an eight-day trip to Israel, her office announced this weekend. It is the Miami Gardens congresswoman's first trip there, and she is going with a large group of House Democrats.

From the press release:

Washington, DC – Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-17) today departed on an eight-day trip to Israel with a group of over 25 House Democratic colleagues. The visit is an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship and learn first-hand about the complexities of the region, including the peace process, security situation, and important political and economic trends in the region. The trip marks the Congresswoman’s first visit to Israel.

“I’m thrilled to visit Israel for the first time to learn first-hand about one of our closest friends and allies” said Rep. Wilson. “As the only thriving democracy in the region, Israel shares core values with the United States – representative government, freedom, and diversity. District 17 is home to a significant Jewish population and I look forward to deepening the relationship between our two nations and bringing these experiences back to my work in South Florida and in Congress.”

The delegation is scheduled to meet with leaders from across the political spectrum – including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – to gain insight on core issues such as security, diplomacy, trade, and defense cooperation. In addition to meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian officials, the delegation will conduct high-level sessions and briefings with opposition members, military leaders, defense and economic experts, peace negotiators, and religious leaders. The group will also visit Jewish, Christian and Islamic holy sites; key security sites, including the Gaza border and the Golan Heights; cooperative U.S.-Israel defense and technology projects; community centers for new immigrants; military bases; universities; and hospitals.