Former U.S. Democratic President Jimmy Carter will travel to the Gaza Strip on Thursday and meet with officials from Hamas, the Jihadist terror organization that rules the Palestinian territory.
“Carter will arrive in Gaza on Thursday through the [Israeli-controlled] Erez border crossing to meet with leading Hamas officials,” a Palestinian security spokesperson told Anadolu Agency, a news outlet based in Turkey.
Carter, 90, will meet with the Hamas military chief Ismail Haneya, Xinhua reports.
He will attempt to seek reconciliation between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, the latter which rules the Palestinian areas of the West Bank. Carter has urged Saudi officials to help with his mediation efforts.
“Carter has lately met with prominent Saudi officials and urged their intervention to achieve reconciliation between Palestinian factions, which was welcomed by Riyadh,” a Hamas spokesperson told Anadolu Agency. “The Saudi government has begun preparations for mediation between the two movements to reach a ‘Mecca II’ agreement,” the spokesperson added.
Carter plans to arrive in the region on Thursday for a 3-day tour of Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. His request to meet with Israel’s President and Prime Minister was denied. In refusing to meet with the 39th U.S. President, both offices cited his anti-Israel, pro-Hamas sentiments.
During the 2014 Israeli operation against Hamas, codenamed Operation Protective Edge, Carter advocated for the removal of the jihadi organization – which is sworn to Israel’s destruction – from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. As the terror outfit was firing rockets at Israeli civilian areas and using women and children as human shields, and hiding missile stockpiles in children’s schools, Carter slammed the Jewish state, saying that there was “no justification in the world for what Israel is doing,” without condemning Hamas.