Head of Israeli National Security Council in Egypt for Gaza talks

Head of Israeli National Security Council in Egypt for Gaza talks
A high-level Israeli security delegation has arrived in Cairo to meet Egypt's intelligence chief and discuss a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
2 min read
14 November, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right) met Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel last August [Getty]

A high-profile Israeli security delegation arrived in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip and in the wider Middle East, according to Israeli media.

The delegation includes Eyal Hulata, the head of Israel’s National Security Council, who is due to meet with the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate Abbas Kamel.

The two security officials will discuss the possibility of a long-term Israeli truce with Gaza's Hamas rulers, which Egypt is trying to mediate. Kamel is also due to travel to Israel before the end of November to present Egypt's truce plan to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Benett.

This will be Kamel’s second visit to Israel since the new Israeli government took office on June 13.

"Major General Abbas Kamel's visit is not limited to Gaza and the establishment of a ceasefire, but there are other major issues of common interest that are under personal supervision by Kamel," sources from Palestinian factions told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service. 

The sources notably mentioned the growing influence of Iran and the situation in Syria.  

They added that efforts to consolidate the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip are ongoing but little progress has been made so far.

Over the past months, Egypt has been leading discussions with the Hamas on rebuilding the besieged enclave.

The Egyptian-mediated ceasefire came into force in May after a deadly 11-day bombing campaign by Israel, which left 256 Palestinians dead in Gaza while causing serious damage to homes and infrastructure.

 In Israel, rocket fire from Hamas and other Gaza factions led to 13 deaths.

Hamas representatives also met with Kamel in Cairo last month to discuss a long-term truce. 

Hamas sources reported then that Egypt offered to help boost the economy of the besieged enclave and permit more items through the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt's Sinai region.

The Egyptian plan also likely includes a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas, which has captured at least two Israeli soldiers following the 2014 Israeli offensive on Gaza. The group hopes to swap its captives for some of the 4,500 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

Kamel has also been working to help resolve political divisions between Hamas in Gaza and rivals Fatah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.