Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. Republican senators on Wednesday that Israel will continue its efforts to defeat Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, senators told reporters after he addressed a party lunch.

“He’s going to do what he said he’s going to do. He’s going to finish it,” Senator Jim Risch said.

The conservative Israeli leader spoke to Republicans via videolink nearly a week after the Senate’s Democratic majority leader, Chuck Schumer, gave a speech in the Senate harshly criticizing Netanyahu as an obstacle to peace and urging new elections in Israel.

Wednesday’s meeting underscored the politicization of Washington’s Israel policy. Netanyahu has long been aligned with Republicans, who accused Schumer of seeking to “overthrow” the Israeli leader.

“We asked… him for an update and we got it on the war, on the release of the hostages and in the efforts to defeat Hamas. We told him Israel has every right to defend themselves and he said that’s exactly what they continue to do,” Senator John Barrasso said.

Democratic leaders have been grappling with divisions in their party over the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza five months into a war that began with attacks on Israel by Hamas militants on Oct. 7.

A spokesperson for Schumer said that Netanyahu had offered to speak to the Democrats as well, but Schumer declined, saying that the conversations should not be partisan.

“I care deeply about Israel and its long term future. When you make the issue partisan, you hurt the cause of helping Israel,” Schumer told reporters.

Progressives have called on Democratic President Joe Biden to put more pressure on Israel to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where aid groups warn of famine and U.S. officials say more than 30,000 civilians have been killed.

Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Netanyahu had addressed civilian casualties and the need to get more aid into Gaza. He said Netanyahu was “very supportive” of plans to build a temporary pier and bring in aid by sea.

“He’s very sensitive to the fact that every civilian casualty is a very unfortunate event,” Risch said.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Netanyahu had made a presentation and then taken questions from senators.

“I made it clear to him, that it’s not the business of the United States to be giving a democratic ally advice about when to have an election or what kind of military campaign they may be conducting,” McConnell told reporters.