US asks Israel to avoid raising tension before Biden visit

The United States has asked Israel to avoid any action that would increase tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank ahead of President Biden’s visit next month. This was mentioned by the political study website “Axios”, citing Israeli, American and Palestinian sources. At the moment, in fact, tensions in the region are already particularly high. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is described as “frustrated” by recent Israeli moves in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and “outraged” by US policy so far on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has already threatened to take retaliatory measures against Israel if the situation does not change: on the table, in particular, there are new initiatives at the United Nations, the cessation of coordination in security matters, and even the abolition of recognition of Judaism. State of Ramallah.

Barbara Leaf, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, has shuttled between Jerusalem and Ramallah at least three times this week with her deputy for Israeli-Palestinian affairs, Hadi Amro. Abbas called on Israel to stop “all unilateral actions” and said he expected the United States to present a political proposal to the Palestinians. For its part, advisor to Abbas Hussein Al-Sheikh told “Axios” that the United States “wanted the visit to take place in a positive atmosphere that is different from what it is now.” But he added, “If the Israelis do not stop their unilateral actions, the situation will only get worse.”

According to the report also published on the US website, Lev conveyed the Palestinian leaders’ requests to Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and National Security Adviser Eyal Holata. The American official, in particular, asked those she spoke with in the Jewish state that Israel avoid demolishing homes, arresting Palestinians, and making decisions about building new settlements. At the same time, Israeli authorities have been asked to scale back military operations in the West Bank at least until the day of Biden’s visit, which kicks off on July 13. Gantz, Lapid and Holata Lev promised that they would do their best, nevertheless explaining that stopping such actions would be “complicated” from a political point of view.

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According to “Axios” as well, Lev also tried with the US ambassador to Israel Tom Nedis to prepare an initiative in favor of the Palestinians in light of Biden’s visit, without registering significant progress. Israel, in fact, “has no intention of taking any significant political steps”, and whatever the United States can promise “will not suffice for the Palestinians.” The United States also asked Israel to allow the symbolic presence of Palestinian officials on the Allenby Bridge, the border point between the West Bank and Jordan, on the occasion of Biden’s visit. This is a request that the Jewish state is “positively assessing.”

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