Deputy US Assistant Secretary Hady Amr on Friday concluded a series of productive engagements with a wide range of Israelis and Palestinian Arabs during his week-long visit to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Tel Aviv.
A statement from the US Embassy in Israel said Amr’s visit “was guided by the objective of the United States to advance equal measures of freedom, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians alike in ways that are tangible, and achievable in the near term and beyond. His visit successfully advanced the goal of deepening understanding with Israelis and Palestinians in this regard.”
Amr “found his meetings with civil society and private sector representatives particularly helpful for understanding the detailed needs, perspectives, and suggestions of both Israelis and Palestinians outside government. Those engagements focused on the importance of human rights – including women’s rights – and the work of civil society, as well as the need to provide hope, opportunity, and a political horizon, especially for young people. They also discussed the value of diversity and inclusion in both the private sector and in governance and finding a realistic path to a long term and comprehensive peace,” the statement added.
“Amr took those perspectives and ideas into his meetings with Israeli and Palestinian government officials, where he also discussed issues ranging from human rights and the rule of law, economic development, energy, water, and regional cooperation to the urgent need for humanitarian relief in Gaza.”
The statement noted that the current focus of the United States “is on improving the situation on the ground and relations between Israelis and Palestinians, which together are important in their own right, and are also important as a means ultimately to advance towards a comprehensive peace.”
On Thursday, Barak Ravid of Axios reported that Amr warned Israeli officials during his talks in Jerusalem this week that the Palestinian Authority is facing dangerous economic and political crises.
Israeli officials who attended the meetings with Amr or were briefed on them said that he stressed that he came back from Ramallah very concerned.
“I have never seen the Palestinian Authority in a worse situation," Amr said, according to Israeli officials quoted by Axios.
Amr’s visit to the region came as the Biden administration attempts to restore ties with the PA.
The PA had been boycotting the US since 2017, in protest of then-President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to the city.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)