Jimmy Carter has put an end to a planned visit to the Gaza Strip.
There doesn’t seem to be a reason given for the last-minute cancellation by the former US president, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Reuven Rivlin, president of Israel, had earlier rejected a meeting with Carter during the planned visit. Rivlin cited Carter’s “anti-Israel” views as the reason–Carter has over the last decades been a vocal critic of Israel’s actions with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
The Strip visit was supposed to take place on April 30, when Carter would have met with Hamas leaders to talk about reconciliation efforts between Hamas and the West Bank’s Palestinian Authority (PA). His main goal was to get the PA and Hamas to actualize the reconciliation deal they reached last year.
The former American president has met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in the past, and in 2009 he visited Gaza and met with then-Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. Carter has been known for his critical views of Israeli policy and has used the word “apartheid” to describe Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
During Operation Protective Edge last summer, he condemned what he called the “humanitarian catastrophe” inflicted on Gaza and urged President Barack Obama to acknowledge Hamas’s legitimacy as a political player in the region.