A Lebanese-born politician and expert has the task of defusing tension and stopping the escalation of fighting in the Palestinian territories.
It is Hady Amr, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Israel-Palestinian Affairs, who arrived in the region on Friday in search of a calm that the White House wants.
Hady Amr was appointed to his position in January 2021, with the inauguration of US President Joe Biden's administration.
The Lebanese-American diplomat, born in 1967, graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Economics and Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs with an MA in Economics and International Affairs.
During former US President Barack Obama's administration, he was in charge of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. He is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Palestinian and Israeli Affairs at the moment.
Amr was a fellow at the Brookings Institution and the founding director of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar from 2006 to 2010. He was also a Senior Advisor in the Office of Policy at the Department of Homeland Security in 2010. He worked as the Deputy Assistant Regional Director for the Middle East at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2010 to 2013, where he assisted in the coordination of numerous assistance programs throughout the region.
From 2014 to 2017, he was the United States' Deputy Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, working on a team led by Secretary of State John Kerry and focusing on economic issues. In the summer of 2013, he joined the negotiating team.
Amr was named a volunteer member of Joe Biden's presidential transition Agency Review Team in November 2020 to support transition efforts related to the United States Department of State.
Amr is the author of Brookings publications such as "The Need to Communicate: How to Improve US Public Diplomacy with the Islamic World" and "The Opportunity of the Obama Era: How Civil Society Can Help Bridge Divides Between the US and a Diverse Muslim World."
Newsweek, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, and The Daily Star have also published his work. He wrote several reports for the United Nations, including "The State of the Arab Child."
Amr has repeatedly urged negotiations with Hamas in recent years. Amr co-wrote an article declaring that the Trump administration's proposed peace deal should be scrapped in favor of focusing on a deal with Hamas. The article delves into the policies that Amr may pursue as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel-Palestine.
“By laying out the terms of a three-way Hamas-Israel-PA/PLO deal now, and building an international consensus around it, the United States could create a pathway toward resolution,” the article argued. That would potentially not only restart Obama’s attempt to impose a plan on Israel, but would do so not only on behalf of the PLO but also of Hamas.