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Today's Hota Kotb shares heartbreaking message with fans as she praises 'beautiful friend' Maria Shriver

Hoda, 59, had an important message for her followers and TV audience

Hoda Kotb on Today Show
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
13 October 2023
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As Israel retaliates from deadly attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorist group Hamas — in addition to more conflict and unrest globally —Today Show's Hoda Kotb is calling on fans to "lean into" the beauty in the world.

"There is so much heartbreak, devastation and inhumanity, that when you see something inspiring, something beautiful, you lean into it," the post, originally shared by Maria Shriver read. "Hate always seems to be winning, but we can't let that happen. Love will rise. We need to give love its due. Raise it up. Shout it out. Honor it in all its forms. We must raise up love wherever we can." 

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"Thank you my beautiful friend @mariashriver," Hoda captioned the post, and Maria commented with a series of heart emojis. 

It has been reported that more than 1,500 Palestinians have been killed in numerous retaliatory air strikes on Gaza by the Israeli military, while at least 1,300 Israelis have been killed during brutal attacks by terrorist group Hamas. Dozens of soldiers and civilians are also being held in Gaza as hostages. 

HodaKotb and Maria Shriver wrap their arms around each other and pose for a picture© Taylor Hill
Hoda and Maria have been friends for over a decade

A total blockade of Gaza has been enforced by Israel, with fuel, food and water running out, but Israel's government has confirmed it will not lift restrictions unless Hamas frees all Israeli hostages. It has warned civilians in northern Gaza to move south in the next day for their own safety ahead of what is thought to be more strikes. 

The world's leaders have shared their horror at the unfolding events, which began on Saturday October 7 when Hamas attacked a music festival in Israel, murdering hundreds of festival goers and capturing many others.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge during a visit to the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem. © Pool
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge during a visit to the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were among those who shared a message of solidarity against "all acts of terrorism and brutality". On Wednesday, a new page appeared on their Archewell website, entitled: "With Heavy Hearts," and it contained their statement against the acts of brutality. 

It read: "At The Archewell Foundation, with Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, we stand against all acts of terrorism and brutality. We are supporting our partners and organizations on the frontlines in Israel to provide the urgent aid needed, and to help all innocent victims of this unconscionable level of human suffering." 

Prince William visits the Mount of Olives on June 28, 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel. © Pool
Prince William was the first member of the British royal family to make an official visit to the Jewish state

Britain's Prince and Princess of Wales also released a statement condemning the terrorist group, where they also expressed their distress over the events of the last few days. 

A spokesperson for the couple said: "The Prince and Princess of Wales are profoundly distressed by the devastating events that have unfolded in the past days. The horrors inflicted by Hamas’s terrorist attack upon Israel are appalling; they utterly condemn them." 

Jordan's King Abdullah II met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas earlier this week, and in a series of tweets from the Royal Hashemite Court revealed that Jordan is committed to "stand by the Palestinians and provide aid to Gaza" as well as "stress the need to de-escalate in Gaza and warn against adopting a policy of collective punishment towards Gaza residents and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis". 

Abbas is the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which since 1993 has recognized Israeli sovereignty and seeks Arab statehood in the Palestinian territories (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip). It rules over the West Bank, however rival party Hamas has exercised executive authority over the Gaza Strip since 2007 after its takeover, and has the explicit aim of destroying Israel, a Jewish state.

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