President Donald Trump’s international negotiations representative, Jason Greenblatt, is arriving in Israel on Wednesday for meetings with representatives of the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, who together with the US form the Middle East Quartet, a self-appointed group of international entities striving to advance an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
The visit comes amid enhanced US support for Israeli political positions on Jerusalem, settlement construction and questioning the necessity for the rapid implementation of a two-state solution.
There is also growing tension between the US and the Palestinian Authority, following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the cutting of $65 million in American funding to UNRWA, the United Nations agency dedicated to Palestinian refugees.
Greenblatt is not expected to meet with Palestinian officials, who have announced their intentions to boycott any efforts initiated by the US since Trump’s Jerusalem announcement. He is expected to stay in Israel through Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Jewish state, scheduled for Jan. 22-23.