Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, a meeting that comes at a tense time for the Middle East peace process.
Obama and Abbas will meet at the White House at a time of overwhelming international concern about Israel's recent raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza.
The late May raid left nine people dead and threatened to sow more seeds of resentment between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Early in May, Obama had called Abbas to praise the start of indirect peace talks between Israel and Palestinian leaders.
The two leaders discussed the need to move from proximity talks to direct negotiations in order to reach agreement on permanent status issues.
But after the fervor over the flotilla raid, the status on those talks are unclear.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry defended its move at the time saying the flotilla, which was delivering aid, was trying to circumvent Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.
Palestinian authorities condemned the incident and was supported by chorus of international criticism including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
"I condemn the violence, and Israel must explain," Ban said.
Despite the tense situation, Obama is expected to talk to Abbas about moving the proximity talks process forward, an administration official said.