Former President Carter. (AP/Mel Evans) (AP/Mel Evans)
Jimmy Carter
Ismail Haniyeh

Hamas leader Haniyeh. (Mostafa Ashqar/Flash90)

Former US President Carter was supposed to meet with Hamas terrorist leaders on Thursday, but on Wednesday canceled his trip to the Gaza Strip. Israeli President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu refuse to meet with him.

Former US President Jimmy Carter was scheduled to meet with Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

“Carter will arrive in Gaza on Thursday through the Erez border crossing to meet with leading Hamas officials,” a Palestinian security spokesperson told the Turkish based Anadolu press agency.

Carter, 90, intended to meet with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the Chinese Xinhua reported.

Carter was slated to arrive in the region on Thursday for a three-day tour of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip.

He was reportedly on a mission to seek reconciliation between Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, which have been waging a low-level battle for the past few months.

Tensions between Hamas and Fatah have been running high ever since the establishment of the Palestinian unity government last June. Both sides have made mutual accusations of corruption, graft and treason.

“Carter has lately met with prominent Saudi officials and urged their intervention to achieve reconciliation between Palestinian factions, which was welcomed by Riyadh,” a Hamas spokesperson told Anadolu. “The Saudi government has begun preparations for mediation between the two movements to reach a ‘Mecca II’ agreement,” he added.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both turned down Carter’s request to meet with them, citing his “anti-Israel” stance as the reason.

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 US President Barack Obama to acknowledge Hamas’ legitimacy as a political player in the region.

No reason has been given for the cancellation.

By: JNS and Max Gelber, United with Israel