Austrian delegation traveled to Israel and met with Israeli President, members of the Knesset and hostage families

An Austrian delegation led by President of the National Council Wolfgang Sobotka traveled to Israel to bear witness to the October 7 atrocities, meet with families of Israelis still held hostage by Hamas, and hold a series of high-level bilateral meetings.

EJC President Dr Ariel Muzicant was part of the delegation and held numerous private meetings with Israeli politicians and relevant stakeholders.

The Austrian delegation received a warm welcome from Israeli authorities, who expressed profound appreciation for Austria’s enduring support for the State of Israel and its staunch defense of the Jewish state in international forums, highlighting the strong friendship between Austria and Israel.

Sobotka held a meeting with his Israeli counterpart MK Amir Ohana in the Knesset where he expressed the support of the Austrian government for the State of Israel after the Hamas massacre of October 7th.

“The terror organisation Hamas is responsible for all that happens in Israel and Gaza. We need to bring the hostages back home now, without any conditions, and Israel has a right to defend itself. And when Hamas is disarmed, and the hostages come back, the war comes to an end. That’s the fact,” said Wolfgang Sobotka in a press conference in the Israeli Parliament.

“And we stand together with the State of Israel. For us, it is crucial to support what Israel is doing to bring safety and security for its population.”

During their visit to the Knesset, the delegation met with Israeli ministers and MKs from both the governing coalition and the opposition, including former Prime Minister Yair Lapid, MK Yuli Edelstein and MK Mansour Abbas.

In the morning, the Austrian delegation meet with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem.

“Thank you for your visit, your friendship, and your solidarity with the Israeli people. Israel is engaged in a brutal war against a cruel enemy which continues to hold 134 of our people hostage in Gaza. We are facing an empire of evil which emanates from Tehran and reaches across the region and the world” said Herzog.

The delegation visited the Kibbutz Kfar Aza with Speaker of the Knesset Amir Ohana where they met families of the victims of the October 7th attack by Hamas, including Shimon Portal, whose daughter was murdered. More than 40 of its residents were killed by the terrorist organisation on that day.