The escalating conflict in the Gaza Strip has forced Gov. Martin O’Malley to postpone his eight-day trade mission to the Middle East.
O’Malley (D) and a delegation of elected officials and business leaders were set to leave next week for Israel, Jordan and the West Bank city of Ramallah, The Washington Post reported. He announced his decision today after mounting Hamas rocket strikes and Israeli counter-strikes that have left more than 100 dead in the past week.
“Not wanting to be a distraction from the urgent cause of peace, I look forward to visiting Israel in the months ahead with Maryland business, research and academic leaders,” O’Malley said in a statement. “For now, we join with our Israeli and Palestinian neighbors in praying for a cease-fire and peaceful resolution to the conflict.”
This would have been his third trip to Israel since 2005, according to The Post. O’Malley announced the trade mission in September at the opening of a radar electronics manufacturing facility in Columbia, MD, owned by a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.