(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
The head of Egyptian intelligence Major General Abbas Kamel met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, Israeli sources confirmed Thursday.
Kamel arrived to Israel as the guest of Meir Ben Shabat, the head of the National Security Council.
According to previous reports with Arab sources, Kamel met with Israeli officials
on Wednesday and spoke about a possible prisoner exchange deal and updated them on the results of the recent talks between Hamas and Fatah in Egypt. Meanwhile, representatives of the Popular Front and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine are expected to arrive in Cairo Thursday morning and join the series of meetings.
These meetings in Israel follow previous clandestine meetings with Egypt. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met secretly in Cairo in May with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss ways to end the violence in Gaza.
According to a Channel 10 report, Netanyahu traveled to Cairo with a small number of advisers and security guards on May 22, when he joined Sisi in the Iftar feast breaking the Ramadan fast. It occurred just a week after the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem, and violence along the Gaza border peaked when 62 Palestinians were killed in riot.
According to the report, Sisi said that the solution to the crisis in Gaza “runs through” a return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza
, and its taking responsibility for the Strip – even if all of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ conditions for returning to Gaza were not met. The report said Sisi’s message was that Israel, the Arab world, and the international community needed to press Abbas to return to Gaza, even though he is opposed.
Netanyahu and Sisi last met publicly on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York last September. They have reportedly held other clandestine meetings over the years, as security and intelligence ties between the two countries are believed to be as close as they have ever been.Translated by Jonathan Rosen.
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