Blinken is making his first trip to Israel this week. Pompeo isn’t far behind.

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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Israel this week at the same time that his successor, Antony Blinken, will take his first official trip to the region, three people familiar with his plans told McClatchy.

Their dual visits come at a sensitive time in the Middle East, days into a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that halted a week and a half of fierce fighting.

During those eleven tense days, Pompeo took to Twitter and conservative news channels to criticize the Biden administration’s response to the crisis, claiming that the White House was preparing to flush the government in Iran – which has supported Hamas in Gaza – with cash through sanctions relief.

“The Biden administration has distanced itself from Israel by attempting to revive the failed Iran deal, siding with the Ayatollahs over our ally,” Pompeo tweeted last week. “America must be strong and defend its allies without hesitation.”

The former secretary plans to attend a retirement party for Yossi Cohen, director of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, and meet with other nongovernmental officials in his capacity as a private citizen.

Israeli officials were not part of building Pompeo’s schedule and are focused on Blinken’s trip, according to two sources.

Blinken’s first visit to the region will begin in Jerusalem, where he will meet with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, among others.

The secretary will then travel to Ramallah in the West Bank, Cairo and Amman.

The White House made a point on Monday of underscoring that Blinken is visiting the region at the direct request of President Joe Biden, who worked the phones over the course of recent fighting to help facilitate a ceasefire.

A State Department official declined to comment on whether Pompeo provided Blinken with advanced notice of his travel plans.

“The State Department does not comment on private travel by U.S. citizens,” the official said.

An aide to Pompeo also confirmed his plans to visit, which were first reported by Politico on Monday.

Bryan Lowry contributed to this report.

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