Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer arrived in Washington on Wednesday to meet with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and other senior Biden administration officials.
Two sources briefed on the matter told Axios that the officials will discuss the Gaza war that began nearly four months ago with the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas terrorist attack on the northwestern Negev. They will also talk about plans for the day after the fighting ends in the Gaza Strip.
Before the Oct. 7 massacre, Dermer was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s point man on U.S. President Joe Biden’s efforts to forge a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The Biden administration has been pushing Palestinian statehood as part of a Jerusalem-Riyadh detente as well as Palestinian Authority control over a post-Hamas Gaza, putting it at odds with Israel’s positions under Netanyahu.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel for three days beginning on Saturday, his sixth trip to the Jewish state since the Hamas invasion.
Blinken was in the country earlier this month for a series of meetings with Netanyahu and other members of the War Cabinet.
Meanwhile, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana is scheduled to head to Washington next week for a diplomatic visit during which he is expected to meet with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson.
Ohana has invited Thomas Hand, the father of 9-year-old Emily Hand, who was freed from Hamas captivity as part of a ceasefire in November, to join his visit along with other family members of hostages.