Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi arrived in Cairo on Sunday to discuss a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. It is the first formal visit of an Israeli foreign minister to Egypt in 13 years.
“ We will discuss a permanent ceasefire with Hamas and a mechanism to provide humanitarian aid, and we will talk about the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip,” said Ashkenazi on Twitter. According to the minister, the government is also “fully committed” to bringing back Israeli prisoners in Gaza. Israel and Hamas have long been planning to exchange Israeli and Palestinian prisoners.
Egypt played a crucial role in negotiating a truce between Israel and Hamas earlier this month, bringing an end to eleven days of attacks.
Israel and Hamas bombed each other with missiles and bombs after riots broke out in Jerusalem because Palestinians in Arab East Jerusalem would have to make way again for Jewish settlers. According to the authorities, the Israeli bombing killed 248 people in the Gaza Strip, and in Israel 12 people were killed by Hamas missiles.
Egyptian security officials confirmed to press agency AFP on Sunday that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is also coming to Cairo for talks. Also, the head of Egyptian intelligence Abbas Kamel will travel to Israel.