The third GOP debate is set to take place on Wednesday, 8 November in Miami and the stakes have been raised for qualifying candidates as they prepare to tackle major world issues like the recent Israel-Hamas conflict.
Since the war began in October, there have been debates regarding how the US should support Israel as an ally while airstrikes and other offensives disrupt millions of innocent Palestinians.
This time around, candidates will have more time to give thoughtful answers because there are few participants due to the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) stricter criteria.
Former president Donald Trump has technically qualified however he refuses to sign a pledge supporting the eventual RNC candidate and opted out of participating in the debates.
Ahead of the next debate, here’s what the qualifying candidates have said about the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Mr Trump has been both somewhat critical and supportive of Israel.
At first, he critiqued Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying he was unprepared and recalling a time when Mr Netanyahu did not agree with Mr Trump while he was president.
Mr Trump also called Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant organisation designated a terrorist group, “smart”.
A spokesperson for Mr Trump later clarified that the ex-president was only “pointing out how incompetent Biden and his administration were by telegraphing to the terrorists an area that is susceptible to an attack” and did not mean Hezbollah was “good”.
After receiving backlash, Mr Trump changed his tune by condemning the attack and expressing support for Israel on Truth Social.
He has also claimed that Hamas’ attack on Israel would not have happened under his administration.
The Florida governor has taken a pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian approach.
Mr DeSantis has said he believes that the US should provide support to Israel. He even boasted that planes contracted by Florida brought “hospital supplies, drones, body armour and helmets” to first responders in Israel.
However, an Israeli diplomat contradicted the statement, saying the governor’s office sent medical supplies that were requested by the health ministry and was contacted to ensure a flight carrying rifle parts could leave from Miami.
Mr DeSantis has also condemned antisemitism in the US and around the world in the wake of the attacks and said the US should not accept innocent civilians from Gaza as refugees.
He ordered two Florida universities to deactivate their chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and also baselessly claimed that Gaza citizens “are all antisemitic”.
Ms Haley is supportive of Israel but believes the US should only play a minor role in the conflict.
“I don’t think America needs to be telling Israel what to do,” Ms Haley told the Carolina News and Record. “Let Israel do what Israel needs to do. Don’t talk to them about a ceasefire. Don’t talk to them about restraint. Don’t talk to them about humanitarian aid.”
The former United Nations ambassador has instead encouraged Mr Netanyahu to “finish” Hamas.
She has also said the US should not take people in Gaza as refugees but she expressed some sympathy for innocent civilians by acknowledging that many Palestinians “want to be free” from Hamas.
“America has always been sympathetic to the fact that you can separate civilians from terrorists,” she told CNN.
However, Ms Haley also circulated misinformation about the attack early on, by falsely claiming the US’s prisoner exchange deal with Iran helped fund Hamas’ attack on Israel.
Mr Ramaswamy has mostly expressed support for Israel but maintained that the US should not be involved in the conflict at all.
“Israel is our most important ally in the Middle East but they get to make their own decisions about their national self-defence,” Mr Ramaswamy told Fox News.
“But if we’re going to get involved I do have some serious concerns about a prolonged ground invasion in Gaza,” he added.
Mr Ramaswamy has also been critical of Mr DeSantis’ attempt to deactivate pro-Palestinian groups on Florida’s campus.
Mr Christie has condemned Hamas and said the US should provide Israel with whatever support it needs to defend itself and take down Hamas
The former New Jersey governor believes the US should provide Israel with military aid and does not think a ceasefire is the right strategy.
He outlined three major strategies that he believes should be the objective of Israel and the US.
“Protect Israel’s citizens to their territorial integrity, make sure that we diminish Hamas’ capability to do this again and to keep, on track, with isolating Iran who is the banker of terrorism in the Middle East,” Mr Christie told CNN