California Gov. Newsom announces he's going to Israel

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced he's going to Israel, drawing praise from major Jewish community groups following the Hamas attack on that country two weeks ago. 

"I'm on my way to Israel," he posted to X. 

He said he'll be meeting with those impacted by the "horrific terrorist attacks and offering California's support." 

It wasn't immediately clear where Newsom would be traveling and what he would be doing. He will arrive in Israel on Friday morning and then leave for a planned trip to China.

California is also sending medical supplies to the region, which includes Gaza, as well. 

In a statement, Tye Gregory, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco, said he is "deeply grateful" for Newsom's visit.

"He has been a staunch ally of the Jewish community and is supporting us through this difficult period," Gregory said. "The fact that he is willing to make this trip in wartime proves once again that he recognizes and values the U.S.-Israel relationship, as well as the Jewish community both here in the state of California and around the world." 

Gregory also credited Newsom for authorizing the immediate expansion of additional $10 million in security funds for faith institutions, such as synogogues and mosques, across the state and another $20 million investment in the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

In a statement, Council on American-Islamic Relations California CEO Hussam Ayloush said that he was glad for the extra security money. 

Just as there has been antisemitic attacks following the Israel-Hamas war, backlash against Muslims jas grown, too. A 6-year-old Muslim boy was killed by his landlord in Chicago in an alleged hate-crime. 

"California Muslims are increasingly anxious as we observe dangerous rhetoric that continues to dehumanize Palestinians and Muslims, and which leads to a rise in anti-Muslim incidents targeting students, employees, and everyday Muslims in their homes or on the street. Everyone deserves to be safe," Ayloush said. 

California is home to the largest population of Arab Americans in the United States, according to the Arab American Institute. It also has the second largest populations of Jews in the U.S., according to the American Jewish Population Project at Brandeis University.

Newsom's visit will follow on the heels of President Joe Biden's visit to Tel Aviv. 

On Wednesday, Biden urged Israel to step back from the brink, not just to ease growing tensions in the Mideast that threaten to spiral into a broader regional conflict, but also to reassure a world rattled by images of carnage and suffering, in Israel and Gaza alike. One million people have been displaced in roughly 10 days, when Hamas terrorists raped, kidnapped and murdered Israelis on Oct. 7, according to the United Nations.

Biden’s mission was to display resolve for Israel and to diminish the likelihood of a wider war, while providing assurances that he was not overlooking the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.