The newly appointed US ambassador to Israel arrived in the country on Friday to assume his position, which had been vacant for months, as war rages between Israel and Hamas.
Jack Lew, who was sworn in on Thursday, was on board the plane that brought US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Israel, an AFP journalist said.
An Orthodox Jew who observes the weekly sabbath, the 68-year-old is due to present his credentials to Israeli President Isaac Herzog in the coming days.
Despite being its closest ally, the United States has not had an ambassador to Israel since July when Lew’s predecessor Tom Nides departed.
Blinken arrived in Israel on Friday in a trip focused on measures to minimise harm to civilians in the Gaza Strip caught up in the war between Israel and Hamas.
It is his second visit to the Middle East since the outbreak of the war sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attacks that, according to Israeli officials, killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
In retaliatory Israeli strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, more than 9,000 people have died including more than 3,700 children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory.
Biden has promised full support and ramped-up military aid to Israel for its campaign in Gaza, but in a visible shift of tone has also voiced empathy for Palestinian suffering which has stoked anger in parts of the world.