Biden’s Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Affairs to Arrive in Region Sunday
The US deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli-Palestinian affairs, Hady Amr, will arrive in the region on Sunday for talks with Israeli and Palestinian government officials in Jerusalem and Ramallah. Among the topics to be discussed: the transfer of humanitarian aid to and reconstruction efforts in the Gaza Strip, which saw extensive damage in 11 days of fighting with Israel in May. Amr is also expected to raise US government concerns about Israel’s demolition of terrorist suspects’ homes, and the Palestinian Authority’s involvement in the death of a well-known critic while he was in PA custody. Amr is expected to return to the US on Thursday. This will be Amr’s first visit with Israel’s new government, headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The State Department official was last in Israel in May to help broker a cease-fire between the Jewish State and the Hamas-led government in Gaza. The Biden administration has already registered its objection to Israel’s punitive demolition of the home of Muntasir Shalabi, a Palestinian-American who has been charged for the killing of Yehuda Guetta, 19, and injuring of two other teenagers in a May 2 attack in the northern West Bank. “We attach a good deal of priority to this, knowing that the home of an entire family shouldn’t be demolished for the action of one individual,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. The US government has also called for an investigation into the death of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat last month after he was arrested by PA security forces.