Israel and Egypt talk truce with Hamas, rebuilding Gaza

CAIRO — Egypt and Israel held high-level talks in each nations Sunday to shore up a fragile truce between Israel and the Hamas militant group and rebuild the Gaza Strip after a punishing 11-day battle that left elements of the seaside enclave in ruins.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry obtained his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, in Cairo on Sunday as a part of Egypt’s efforts to revive the Mideast peace course of and to “build on the cease-fire in Gaza,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated.

Spokesman Ahmed Hafez stated Shukry referred to as for establishing an environment to relaunch “serious and constructive” negotiations between the 2 sides. He additionally urged either side to chorus from “any measures” that might hamper efforts to revive the Mideast peace course of.

The hourslong go to was the primary public one by an Israeli international minister to Egypt since 2008, the Israeli Embassy in Cairo stated. It wrote that the 2 ministers would talk about subjects together with the cease-fire and the discharge of Israeli troopers and residents being held by Hamas.

Meeting between Israeli and Egyptian officials in Cairo.
The hourslong assembly targeted on efforts to revive the Mideast peace course of and to “build on the cease-fire in Gaza.”

“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,” Ashkenazi tweeted upon arrival in Cairo.

Hamas is holding the stays of two Israeli troopers killed in a 2014 battle. It is also holding two Israeli civilians who have been captured after getting into Gaza.

As a part of the cease-fire efforts, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted Abbas Kamel, Egypt’s intelligence chief, in Jerusalem. Netanyahu stated he had raised the difficulty of returning the stays of troopers and the 2 civilians in addition to Israeli calls for to stop Hamas from gaining power or diverting sources meant for the civilian inhabitants.

An Egyptian official stated Kamel would additionally meet with Palestinian officers within the West Bank earlier than heading to Gaza for talks with Hamas leaders. The intelligence company, which is Egypt’s equal of the CIA, normally handles Egypt’s ties with Hamas and different Palestinian militant teams in Gaza.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, right, is shown during high-level talks in Cairo.
Discussions addressed measures that will enable supplies, electrical energy and gasoline into Gaza.

Egypt’s state-run MENA information company stated Kamel would convey a message from el-Sissi to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, affirming “Egypt’s full support to the Palestinian people.”

It stated Cairo would host talks amongst Palestinian factions to realize unity between these in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied areas of the West Bank. The report didn’t present additional particulars.

During a go to to the area final week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated he was looking for to bolster Abbas and weaken Hamas as a part of the cease-fire efforts.

Hamas seized management of the Gaza Strip from Abbas’ forces in 2007, leaving the internationally acknowledged Palestinian Authority accountable for administering autonomous zones in some 40% of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Hamas, which refuses to acknowledge Israel’s proper to exist, is branded a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and different Western nations.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi’s go to marks the primary public go to of an Israeli international minister to Egypt since 2008.

Discussions with Israeli officers have touched on a set of measures that will enable supplies, electrical energy and gasoline into the territory, in addition to the potential growth of maritime area allowed for Gaza fishermen, the Egyptian official stated.

“The role of the Palestinian Authority is central in the talks,” he stated. “Egypt is seeking to have it deeply involved in the reconstruction process.”

The Egyptian official, who had shut information of the proceedings that led to the cease-fire, spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he wasn’t allowed to transient reporters.

The 11-day battle killed greater than 250 individuals, principally Palestinians, and triggered heavy destruction within the impoverished coastal territory. Preliminary estimates have put the harm within the a whole lot of thousands and thousands of {dollars}. Egypt was key in mediating a deal between the 2 sides.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi during meeting in Cairo.
In addition to Israel, Egypt additionally invited Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for talks.

The official stated Egypt has provided ensures that rebuilding funds is not going to discover its technique to Hamas, probably going by a global committee led by Egypt or the United Nations that will oversee the spending.

Kamel has additionally mentioned the state of affairs in Jerusalem and methods to ease tensions within the holy metropolis. That would come with understandings on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the place Israeli police repeatedly clashed with Palestinian demonstrators, and find out how to stop the deliberate eviction of Palestinian households from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem, the official stated.

Egypt last week invited Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for separate talks in Cairo to consolidate the Cairo-mediated cease-fire and speed up the reconstruction course of in Gaza.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh is anticipated to go to Cairo this week, in response to the group’s spokesman Abdelatif al-Qanou, who additionally stated Hamas is open to discussing a prisoner swap with Israel.

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