08/19/2021, 10.16
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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Al-Sisi invites Bennett to Cairo after mediation on Gaza

The Israeli premier received the Egyptian intelligence chief and announces an upcoming meeting. From the situation in the Strip to the Palestinian Territories, Egypt has a key role  in the region. On August 26, Bennett will be at the White House for a face-to-face meeting with Biden. Afghanistan and the Iranian "threat" on the agenda. 

 

 

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Strategic bilateral relations, security, Egypt's role as mediator in the Gaza Strip and a formal invitation for an upcoming visit to Cairo by the head of the Israeli government. These are the issues at the center of the meeting, which took place yesterday in Jerusalem, between the head of Egyptian intelligence Abbas Kamel and the Prime Minister of the Jewish State Naftali Bennett, which was followed by a face to face with the Minister of Defense Benny Gantz.

Bennett's trip to Egypt was the first in over a decade by an Israeli prime minister: the last one dates back to 2011, with the meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Hosni Mubarak in the tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. 

Bennett's visit to Cairo should take place "within the next few weeks" and seal the promise of a meeting between the parties occurred during the first telephone talks with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the day after the swearing in of the government. The mediation of Egypt has proved fundamental in May, to resolve the crisis in Gaza where a bloody lightening war was fought between Hamas and the Israeli army that caused hundreds of victims, including civilians. 

Sources close to the talks deny a discussion on the possible entry of Qatari funds in the Strip, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and essential to revive an economy in the doldrums. Kamel also made a stop in Ramallah, in the West Bank, for talks with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas focused on the "development" of the territories and a "strengthening of bilateral relations" with a view to peace and security.

The visit of the Egyptian intelligence chief comes two days after the launching of rockets from Gaza to Sderot, which have raised fears of a new escalation of violence in the area. Behind the attack there would be the hand of Islamic Jihad active in the Strip; at the moment, Israel has not responded with a military operation, keeping instead open the channel of dialogue with Hamas. 

Still on the diplomatic side, in the last few hours it has been made official the next two-day visit, scheduled for August 26, of Prime Minister Bennett to the United States, where he will be received by US President Joe Biden. At the center of the talks the Iranian issue and the latest news coming from Afghanistan, with the taking of Kabul by the Taliban and the hasty flight of the government in office after the withdrawal of U.S. troops. 

According to a note released by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the goal of the meeting is to "strengthen the partnership between the United States and Israel" already consolidated by the "deep bonds between our governments and our peoples," combined with Washington's "unwavering" commitment "to Israeli security." The spokesman added that diplomatic efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians will also be on the agenda. 

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