(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Egypt has embraced Israel as a partner in fighting terrorism, Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel said Sunday, speaking to The Jerusalem Post from Cairo.
In the wake of Friday’s terrorist attack on a mosque in North Sinai that killed hundreds, Gamliel said the people she has met “not only did not keep their distance from me as an Israeli, they are embracing us more.”
“They feel we’re here in solidarity in eradicating terrorism,” she said. “We need to act together to eradicate terrorism everywhere and anywhere.”
Egypt launches air strikes on militants they say connected to Sinai attack (REUTERS)
Gamliel is in Egypt to take part in a European Union-sponsored conference on gender equality in the Middle East at which she is scheduled to give a speech on Monday.
The minister said the conference is continuing as planned, but with a moment of silence in memory of the victims. She called the atmosphere “heavy.”
Gamliel’s Egyptian counterpart told her the country “won’t let terrorism win
and will continue life as usual.”
Still, Gamliel said: “Their mourning really stands out. You can see the pain in people’s eyes.”
“They need us to strengthen them; it warms their hearts,” she stated. “You can tell they need the love and warmth we’re sending them.”
As for the topic of the conference, Gamliel said she was hopeful about the future of women in the Middle East and that Israel has much to be proud of in the area of women’s rights – and she plans to say so in her address.
The minister added that she will emphasize that governments should realize equality is a socioeconomic issue that can reduce poverty and is “a win-win for everyone.”
“Everyone has mothers and sisters and daughters who need equality in health funding and every area,” she said.