Israeli officials expecting Pence visit on January 21
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Israeli and White House officials say Vice President Mike Pence is expected to visit Jerusalem later in January.
White House officials tell Axios these plans are still in the works and no date has been finalized, and two Israeli officials tell me he's expected on January 21 for a visit that will last around 24 hours.
- The Israeli officials said that during the trip to Israel Pence is expected to meet President Rivlin, PM Benjamin Netanyahu and head of opposition Itzhak Herzog.
- He will also visit the Western Wall and Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
- It is still unclear if Pence will give a speech at the Knesset – the Israeli parliament – as he planned to do in his original trip.
- For now Pence is not expected to meet Palestinian officials during his trip.
Pence planned to visit Israel two weeks ago but postponed his trip because of the Senate vote on the tax reform. Another reason for postponing the visit was the crisis between the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority over President Trump's Jerusalem announcement. PA president Mahmoud Abbas has announced he will not meet Pence.
From Israel: One of the Israeli officials said PM Netanyahu's aides proposed to the VP's office the 21st of January as the date for the visit – right after Netanyahu returns from a trip to India. The Israeli official said no final decision was made but that Pence is looking favorably at this date and the expectation in Jerusalem is that he will arrive.
From Washington: Alyssa Farah, Press Secretary for Vice President Mike Pence, told me: "As we've said all along, the Vice President is going in January. We're finalizing details and will announce specifics of the full trip in the coming days."