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Bennett meets Egyptian spy chief on Gaza, is invited to visit Cairo within weeks

6 26 53
18.08.2021

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has invited Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to make an official visit to Egypt within the next few weeks, the premier’s office announced Wednesday.

The invitation was relayed to Bennett by Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate chair Abbas Kamel, who was visiting Jerusalem for talks with the prime minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

The meeting with the Egyptian spy chief was the first since Bennett took office in June.

Bennett and Sissi had previously agreed to meet when they spoke by phone shortly after Bennett’s government was sworn in.

The visit would be the first public visit by an Israeli premier since 2011, when prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with president Hosni Mubarak in the Sinai resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh. Netanyahu also reportedly paid a secret, unofficial visit in 2018.

Kamel met with Bennett in Jerusalem at the Prime Minister’s Office, which said the two discussed bilateral ties between the countries and “the matter of Egyptian mediation in the security situation vis-a-vis the Gaza Strip.”

Egypt helped broker the truce that ended the 11-day conflict in May between Israel and Hamas, the terror group that rules Gaza.

Senior defense officials told Zman Yisrael, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister publication, that the meeting with Kamel was not connected to ongoing talks over allowing Qatari funds to enter the Gaza Strip.

After meeting with senior Israeli officials, Kamel visited the West Bank city of Ramallah for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to official Palestinian media.

A statement carried by the official PA WAFA news agency said Abbas and the intelligence chief discussed “the........

© The Times of Israel


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