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Carter Center Statement on President Biden’s Visit to Israel and Palestine

As President Biden prepares for his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories later this week, The Carter Center calls on him to make human rights a central theme of his meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The Center is encouraged by the Biden administration’s commitment to pursue “equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy” for Israelis and Palestinians. But concrete steps should be taken to bring that commitment to life. Specifically, the Center urges the administration to call for:

  • An end to administrative detentions, night raids, and the illegal settlement projects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Incarceration without trial or charge violates international law, and the settlements are in violation of both international law and Camp David Accords.
  • A clear path for ending the 15-year blockade on the Gaza Strip. Since the May 2021 crisis, there has been no progress toward easing the blockade for humanitarian aid and reconstruction.
  • Eased freedom of movement to allow Palestinians to receive medical treatment and exit to other countries.
  • Political parties, particularly Fatah and Hamas, to respect the political and electoral rights of Palestinians by holding presidential, legislative, and (in Gaza) municipal elections that provide the Palestinian people with the opportunity to express their political choices freely and determine their leaders.
  • Protection of the rights of Palestinian-American citizens, who face administrative detention, denial of travel, family separation, and lack of access to their property in Palestinian territory. Palestinian-Americans should receive the same protection from the Israeli and U.S. governments as do other Americans with dual nationality.
  • A stronger response to the killing of U.S. citizen and journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, which the U.N. and human rights groups have attributed to Israeli military action. Fifty-seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 24 U.S. senators have called for a full investigation, including by the FBI, which normally investigates the killing of a U.S. citizen abroad. Abu Akleh and her family deserve a conclusive investigation. The administration should commit to pursuing the full details of the killing, advocate for reforms to protect journalists, and hold accountable those responsible for the killing.

The Carter Center urges the administration to call on all parties to respect human rights, uphold the rule of law, and work for equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.


The Carter Center
Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.