Washington, DC—Below is a statement by the leadership of The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM)–President Reno (NV) Mayor Hillary Schieve, Vice President Columbus (OH) Mayor Andrew Ginther, Second Vice President Oklahoma City (OK) Mayor David Holt and USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran–on today’s attack by Hamas on Israel:

“The nation’s mayors condemn today’s deadly and horrific attack by Hamas militants on innocent Israeli civilians. Terrorism has no place in society, and we will continue to stand in solidarity with Israel as we have done since 1948.

“For more than 40 years, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has worked with Jewish organizations to send delegations of U.S. mayors to Israel. These meetings began in partnership with Jerusalem’s visionary and legendary Mayor Teddy Kollek, and they have brought U.S. mayors together with their counterparts and top government officials in Israel. The bonds between U.S. and Israeli mayors have long been productive and remain strong to this day.

“Just last March, a delegation of U.S. mayors visited several of the kibbutzim and villages that were invaded today. The mayors had the privilege of meeting with Mayor Ofir Liebstein of Sha’ar Hanegev, San Diego’s sister city. We are devastated that he was killed earlier today defending his town against this terrorist attack.

“As we hope for eventual peace, we recognize Israel’s right to defend itself, and we extend our deepest condolences for the lives lost. May their memory be a blessing.”