Israel FM in Egypt for Gaza ‘permanent ceasefire’ talks

Egypt played a pivotal role in brokering a ceasefire earlier this month between the Israelis and Gaza’s Palestinian Islamist rulers Hamas, bringing an end to 11 days of fighting….reports Asian Lite News

Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi arrived in Cairo Sunday to discuss with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry the establishment of a “permanent ceasefire” between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Ashkenazi tweeted in Arabic, English and Hebrew that his Cairo trip is “the first formal visit of an Israeli FM in 13 years”.

“We will discuss establishing a permanent ceasefire with Hamas, a mechanism for providing humanitarian aid & the reconstruction of Gaza with a pivotal role played by the intl. community,” he added.

He also noted that his government was “fully committed” to repatriating Israeli prisoners held by Hamas.

Egypt played a pivotal role in brokering a ceasefire earlier this month between the Israelis and Gaza’s Palestinian Islamist rulers Hamas, bringing an end to 11 days of fighting.

Senior Egyptian security officials confirmed to AFP Sunday that Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniyeh would also be in Cairo for discussions but would not provide further details.

Concurrently, Egypt’s intelligence chief Abbas Kamel leading a high-level security delegation is expected in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the officials added.

“President (Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi instructed the general intelligence chief to discuss with the Israeli Prime Minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) and concerned authorities the fixing of a permanent ceasefire and the latest developments on the Palestinian front,” they said.

Sisi, who has has restored his country’s role as a regional heavyweight, also tasked Kamel with ending political divisions between rivals Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, the officials said.

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