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Huckabee visiting Israel, following Romney

(JTA) — Mike Huckabee is the second likely Republican candidate for U.S. president to visit Israel this month.

Huckabee, who was to arrive Sunday on his 15th visit to Israel, is expected to announce his candidacy for the 2012 nomination this summer, according to reports. His visit follows one earlier in the month by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, another expected contender for the GOP nod.

Both fell short in their bids for the 2008 nomination.

Huckabee will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday and is scheduled to tour eastern Jerusalem with Ateret Cohanim, an organization that works to settle Jewish families in eastern Jerusalem. On Tuesday, Huckabee’s itinerary includes a tour of the West Bank with the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. 

Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and now a Fox News commentator, supports Jewish settlement in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Romney on his visit Jan. 13-14 also met with Netanyahu. He went to Afghanistan, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates before coming to Israel.

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