Former US VP Mike Pence 'signed weapons to be fired at Lebanon' during Israel visit
Pence, who was former US President Donald Trump's number two from 2017 to 2021, on Friday visited Israeli troops stationed at the Israel-Lebanon border, where fierce clashes have taken place since October.
In the photos, Pence, a longtime and ardent supporter of Israel, can be seen signing what appear to be artillery shells with a marker.
Israeli news outlet Ynet reported that he had signed the shells with the message: "For Israel".
Pence said on Friday in a post on 'X', the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that he had "met with military leaders, and joined the soldiers stationed near the Lebanon border".
Fresh fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah militants began in October, when Tel Aviv launched its ongoing onslaught on Gaza after a deadly attack on Israel by Palestinian group Hamas.
More than 100 people have been killed in the fighting, some of them civilians. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes in the border area.
Though fighting between Israeli forces and the Lebanese group has mostly been limited to the border, Israel earlier this week struck a southern suburb of Lebanon's capital city of Beirut, killing senior Hamas member Saleh al-Arouri.
Pence's staunch support for Israel dates back decades, and he has accused current US President Joe Biden of "weakness" on the issue of the Gaza war - despite Washington's clear backing of Tel Aviv.
Pence's visit came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made yet another trip to the Middle East - his fourth since Israel launched its war on Gaza on 7 October - to "de-escalate" the violence.
Blinken's trip is expected to include stops in Israel and the occupied West Bank, as well as Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Almost 23,000 people in Gaza have been killed in the three months since Israel launched its war.