Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has instructed the state’s treasurer to buy $10 million in Israeli bonds in a show of support for “one of our strongest friends and allies” as it strikes back against Hamas after last week’s terror attacks in Gaza.
The sum was the maximum available on the markets and brings the state’s current holdings of Israeli bonds to $25 million. Since Mr. Kemp took office, the state has purchased $50 million in Israeli bonds, with half already having matured, the governor’s office said.
The governor also ordered the state’s flags to fly at half staff through Saturday in mourning for the 1,300 Israelis and estimated 25 Americans who lost their lives in the surprise offensive by Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that controls Gaza. Hundreds were taken hostage.
“Israel is one of Georgia’s strongest allies and greatest friends, and our support for its people as they endure horrific attacks from terrorists is unwavering,” Mr. Kemp said in a statement. “Purchasing these bonds is just the latest expression of that support. Though this conflict was not of Israel’s choosing, we know they will be victorious in this fight against evil and those who seek its destruction.”
Israel has launched retaliatory airstrikes on military targets, killing a reported 1,500 people, including many civilians, according to Gaza’s health ministry. The response has touched off anti-Israel protests in many parts of the world, including Atlanta, where groups of Palestine and Israel supporters have occasionally clashed.
Israel is massing troops on its southern border for an anticipated ground offensive, ordering civilians to flee south from Gaza City to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
The United Nations and other groups say forcing a mass migration of a million people, especially the sick, elderly and vulnerable, is untenable and perhaps illegal under international law. Israel argues Hamas uses its population as human shields to avoid retribution and that is providing warnings to minimize the loss of life as it roots out the Hamas threat to its own population, brutally evidenced by the Oct. 7 attacks.
During Mr. Kemp’s May trip, he viewed a demonstration of Israel’s Iron Dome system, which intercepted hundreds of the more than 3,500 rockets fired on Israel in Hamas’ coordinated attacks last Saturday.