Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he demanded, during his meeting with head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, in Tel Aviv, for the return of soldiers and civilians detained in Gaza as soon as possible.
Netanyahu added that he discussed with the head of Egyptian intelligence mechanisms to prevent the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) from strengthening its military capabilities, and to use the resources that will be directed in the future to support the residents of Gaza.
The talks focused on fixing a long-term ceasefire and setting up a mechanism for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, in which Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen and National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabat held a long meeting with the Egyptian intelligence chief on these specific issues earlier this day.
The Israeli side seeks to link the reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and the passage of humanitarian aid to the release of its captured soldiers, but sources confirm that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) separates these files.
To meet the Palestinian President
After his meetings with Israeli officials in Jerusalem, the director of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, began his talks with President Mahmoud Abbas and members of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
During his meeting with Minister Kamel, the Palestinian President reviewed developments related to the comprehensive calm in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and reconstruction, as well as the Palestinian national dialogue file.
During the meeting, the Palestinian President valued the positions, efforts and initiative of Egypt under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to support the Palestinian people and support their just cause.
For his part, Minister Abbas Kamel conveyed the greetings of President El-Sisi to his Palestinian counterpart, and said that Egypt will continue to coordinate and work with the State of Palestine in all steps and initiatives.
Minister Abbas Kamel will return to Tel Aviv to meet with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz tonight, before heading to Gaza on Monday morning to meet with the leaders of the Palestinian factions there, specifically the leadership of Hamas.
These moves come within the framework of efforts to achieve the Egyptian initiative to establish a cease-fire in Gaza and to establish a mechanism to monitor the implementation of reconstruction projects.
On the other hand, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi arrived in Cairo for a visit that lasts a few hours, the first for an Israeli foreign minister to Cairo in 13 years. Ashkenazi met his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry and a number of senior officials.
Upon his arrival in Cairo, the Israeli minister said that he would discuss the mechanisms of de-escalation and the reconstruction of Gaza under international supervision.
He added that he would focus in his talks on Israel’s commitment to the priority of returning Israeli soldiers who are in Hamas’s grip, as he put it.
These moves came on the heels of a tour by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in the region, last Wednesday and Thursday, which included Israel, the West Bank, Egypt and Jordan, during which he sought to install a ceasefire with the Palestinian factions, and to mobilize the international community to advance relief efforts in Gaza.