Reports surfaced on Sunday indicating US Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Jordan this week to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
According to Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab Al-Yawm, which cited Israeli media, Kerry is to arrive in Amman on Wednesday to meet with Abbas and Jordanian officials. Discussions will supposedly center on the recently announced Palestinian unity government.
As of now, the US State Department has not confirmed the trip. Initial reports have not clarified whether Kerry would visit Israel while in the region.
Kerry’s visit would come as a surprise move in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In May, Kerry announced that he had given up on the peace process and the fate of peace now lies in the hands of Israel and the Palestinians .
The last round of US brokered peace talks collapsed in April after a surprise reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, the ruling party in the PLO. Ending many years of a bitter rivalry, the two groups united in attempts to force Israel to concede to Palestinian demands.
The new government, which Abbas has stated would be an “independent government” comprised of technocrats, is reported to be officially announced later this week. On Sunday, the IDF refused travel permits for three Hamas leaders who sought to travel via Israeli territory to Ramallah to take part in upcoming celebrations announcing the new government.
Israel suspended all peace talks with the PA upon announcement of the unity agreement, saying that it would not negotiate with any government backed by Hamas. The Gaza-based terrorist organization has vowed to wipe Israel off the map and has refused to renounce violence.
At the start of this week’s cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned world leaders that recognizing the new Palestinian government would lead to increased terrorist around the world.
Netanyahu called on “all responsible agents in the international community not to rush to recognize a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas.”
The US, which has designated Hamas a terrorist organization, has threatened the PA that should it unite with the radical Islamist terror organization, it would cut all aid in the form of $440 million annually.