Apr 29, 11:33 AM EDT

Former US President Jimmy Carter cancels visit to Gaza Strip

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- A delegation led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says it has called off a planned visit to the Gaza Strip.

Carter had planned to make the visit on Thursday in an attempt to draw attention to the humanitarian situation in the war-battered territory. The trip included planned meetings with Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza.

But late Wednesday, the Elders, the group sponsoring the visit, expressed regret that the visit would not take place. It gave no explanation.

Israeli officials, who consider Hamas a terrorist group, have no plans to meet Carter. But Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Israel was prepared to allow Carter to visit Gaza, and the cancellation was not at Israel's request.

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