Italian FM to visit Ashdod, Ramallah

Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini will today visit an Israeli town hit by rocket strikes from Gaza and meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as part of a diplomatic push for peace, Mogherini’s ministry says.

Together with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Mogherini will travel to Ashdod, a southern port town close to the border with the Gaza Strip, and visit a home struck by a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip.

Mogherini will also visit Ramallah this afternoon to meet Abbas and Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki.

A Gaza rocket struck Ashdod earlier today, just hours after Israel agreed to abide by an Egyptian truce that was rejected by Hamas.

Tomorrow Mogherini is expected to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and outgoing President Shimon Peres, as well as visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum.

A 41-year-old who has only been in government since February, Mogherini is seen as a possible pick for a European Commission post or to be the EU’s next foreign policy chief.