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Romney to travel to Israel

Mitt Romney will travel to Israel this summer on a leg of a foreign trip for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee before the height of the fall campaign season.

The Romney campaign confirmed a New York Times report on a long-suspected trip by Romney to Israel. While the exact timing of the trip is unclear, a previous campaign aide told NBC News that it's likely that he'll travel to Israel from London, where the GOP nominee will head at the end of this month for the opening of the Summer Olympics.

Romney's approach toward Israel has been one of the main areas in which he's distinguished himself from President Obama on foreign policy issues. Romney had previously accused Obama of having thrown Israel "under the bus" for outlining preconditions of a peace process. Romney's also been hawkish toward the prospect of an Iranian nuclear program, a major concern of the Israeli government.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP's presidential nominee in 2008, made a similar trip to Israel. A visit to Israel has traditionally been seen as a way to appeal to evangelical voters in the Republican base, and perhaps pick off Jewish voters who tend to favor Obama.

A major donor to pro-Romney efforts, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, has been a major proponent of Israel's, and has cited it as a motivation for defeating Obama this fall. Moreover, Romney has maintained a relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both of them worked decades ago at Boston Consulting.

Alex Moe and Michael O'Brien contributed