State Department says top diplomat will hold 'meeting or two' before president arrives. Former deputy FM Ayalon: Visit correction of mistake made four years ago when Obama came to region and passed over Israel
She added Kerry was expected to "have a meeting or two, in preparation for the president's arrival" but added the "schedule was being worked out."
Nuland did not confirm however Israeli media reports that Kerry, who will accompany Obama on his three-day trip and travel together to Jordan,
would then return to Jerusalem
on Saturday to push for renewed peace talks.
A new Israeli governing coalition with a strong showing of pro-settlement hardliners formally took office late on Monday, after weeks of negotiations following January's general election.
It will be Obama's first visit to Israel and the West Bank as president and former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon said it might help allay the sense of hurt the Israeli public felt when he skipped Israel on a tour of Arab countries in 2009.
"It's a correction of maybe some mistakes that were made four years ago when Mr Obama came to the region and passed over Israel," which was seen as "an insult" by the Israeli public, Ayalon told journalists.
"One of the purposes of the visit is to blaze the way for Kerry, who we'll see here often," he added.
A poll released on Tuesday by the independent Israel Democracy Institute showed 51% of the Jewish Israeli respondents considered Obama to be neutral in his attitude to Israel, while 53.5% did not trust him to safeguard what they perceived to be Israel's vital interests.
The survey said 23% thought he favored the Palestinians more than the Israelis while 18% believed the opposite.
The poll, carried out with Tel Aviv University, questioned 600 people and had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.