WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived in Israel, where he is expected to press Israel and the Palestinians to restart peace talks in the wake of increased unrest.
Gates, who landed in Israel Thursday morning, less than a day after a bomb attack in central Jerusalem and following days of attacks between Israel and Gaza, is in the region assessing the U.S. posture after a wave of uprisings has shaken some regimes and supplanted others.
He is scheduled to meet his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak, in Tel Aviv on Thursday, followed by a meeting with President Shimon Peres. He is scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Friday.
Israeli media said Barak intends to raise Israeli concerns arising out of the unrest.
Gates, who has said this is his last year in a job he has held since 2006, is arriving from Cairo, where he met with the interim military leadership that assumed power after longstanding dictator Hosni Mubarak was ousted.
Israel has sought reassurances that the new Egyptian regime will maintain the 1978 Camp David peace accords.