Israeli Trump Supporters Open Campaign Office in Karnei Shomron

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -
Marc Zell, the head of Republicans Overseas Israel branch, seen at the opening of the campaign supporting US republican president candidate Dondald Trump, in Modi'in on August 15, 2016. Photo by Joe Davids/FLASH90 *** Local Caption *** ????? ?????? ?????? ??????????? ?????? ?????? ????? ????? ??????? ??????? ???"? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ?????? ??????????? ??????
Marc Zell, the head of Republicans Overseas Israel branch, seen at the opening of the campaign supporting Presidential candidate Dondald Trump, in Modi’in, August 15. (Joe Davids/Flash90)

Israeli supporters of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have opened a campaign office in Karnei Shomron in the Shomron, saying they hope to get as many American expatriates as possible to cast an absentee ballot for their candidate.

There are about 300,000 U.S. citizens in Israel, according to the nonprofit Republican Overseas Israel, which opened the office on Monday. It estimates as many as 80,000 of them live in Yehudah and Shomron, though it is not clear how many are eligible voters.

The initiative has no official ties to the Trump campaign or to the Republican National Committee (RNC), and the Israeli group opened the office in the Shomron and a handful of others throughout Israel with its own funds, said cochair Marc Zell.

“We are, however, in close coordination with the Trump campaign and RNC to the extent that it’s feasible,” said Zell.

A poll of Jewish Israelis conducted in May found 40 percent of respondents backed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and 31 percent supported Trump. The poll did not specify whether those who responded were eligible to vote in the U.S. election.

Trump has accused the administration of President Barack Obama of lackluster support for Israel. He has also rejected last year’s nuclear deal with Iran, Israel’s archfoe, and has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

The new office in Karnei Shomron is not staffed full-time but will be used as a “logistical jumping-off point” for outreach activity, Zell said.