Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, the political arm of the Irish Republican Army will visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the first time next month.
Adams is interested in meeting with President Abu Mazen and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. Adams also wants to meet officials in Israel, but that will probably not happen because of the official boycott policy of not meeting with anyone who meets with the Hamas government.
Adams is a well known international figure who tours many conflict areas around the world in an attempt to export his model of conflict resolution as it happened in Northern Ireland. Adams has never visited Israel and has never been in any contact with Israeli officials. Israel has always been suspicious as to the IRA and was weary of its connections with Palestinian terror groups and the Hizballah. For many years it was publicized that Palestinian and Lebanese terror elements jointly trained with the IRA. During the second Intifada, it was also claimed that Irish weapons experts advised Palestinians on the fighting against Israel.