WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, on Tuesday released the following statement after meeting with Jack Lew, nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Israel:

“Our ability to support Israel at this pivotal moment is significantly hamstrung by the fact that we don’t have a U.S. Ambassador on the ground. I was glad to meet today with President Biden’s nominee Jack Lew to discuss the essential role he will play at our embassy in Jerusalem as the U.S. continues to support our ally, while working to prevent a larger conflict in the region. We discussed the humanitarian crisis developing in Gaza and how the U.S. can help ensure aid is delivered to the innocent civilians fleeing the violence. Lew’s swift confirmation is more important than ever, but there are several other key posts in the region that are also sitting vacant. We cannot address this crisis if we don’t have our full team in place in the Middle East, and I’m continuing to push my colleagues to put politics aside and expedite all of these confirmations.”

Last week, Murphy called for swift confirmation of key State Department officials in the Middle East, including Ambassador to Israel.