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Samantha Power to travel to Israel this week

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Samantha Power to travel to Israel this week

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power will travel to Israel later this week for meetings with Israeli government officials, Jewish Insider has learned. While in Israel, Power will meet with officials from COGAT, the Israeli body overseeing aid delivery into Gaza, the policy bureau of Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the Israeli Defense Forces.

Her trip will also include a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, and with Sigrid Kaag, the U.N.’s senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza.

Power last traveled to Israel in February. Her upcoming trip comes amid plans for the U.S. to briefly reinstall a pier off the coast of Gaza that had been used to bring additional aid into the enclave. The pier, which has been plagued by issues since its installation earlier this year and has faced heavy scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, will be permanently dismantled once the backlog of undelivered aid has been cleared from Cyprus, where it was being held, and from a floating dock.

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf will also be in Israel this week, as part of a broader trip to the region that includes stops in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar, as well as Italy. 

Brett McGurk, the White House’s coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, was in Israel on Tuesday, where he met with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, before heading to Qatar on Wednesday. In Doha, McGurk will meet with Mossad Director David Barnea, the head of the Shabak and the IDF general in charge of hostage negotiations.

McGurk was in Egypt earlier this week, along with CIA Director Bill Burns, for meetings with Israeli and Egyptian officials aimed at securing a cease-fire and hostage-release deal.

Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch contributed to this report.

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