Shin Bet chief heads to Egypt in bid to ease tensions
Ronen Bar, chief of Israel’s internal security services reportedly visited his counterparts in Egypt on Monday, in an effort to calm heightened tensions between Tel Aviv and Cairo.
The visit of Shin Bet’s chief, reported by Hebrew news channel Kan, included meetings with several high-ranking security officials, as Israel attempts to ease relations that have soured in recent weeks.
Over the past days, several local media outlets have reported diplomatic flare-ups between the two neighbouring countries.
The tensions were reportedly caused by Egypt’s request for de-escalation of military activities in the West Bank, as well as the recent Israeli bombardment of Gaza which killed tens of civilians.
Egyptian security agencies have not acknowledged Ronen Bar’s visit, or commented on the rise in tension between the two countries.
Earlier in August, Israel agreed to an Egypt-brokered truce with armed Palestinian factions in Gaza, which may have placed additional strain on relations.
Egypt, a historic broker between Israel and armed groups in Gaza, also negotiated the ceasefire that ended an 11-day conflict in May of last year.
Ronen Bar has been in position at the head of Shin Bet since October 2021, when he was appointed by former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Bar has been part of the Israeli intelligence set-up since 1993, and is expected to serve as director until 2026.
When he first took up his post, he said that “the agency would not stand idly by” as Israel witnessed “growing violence in Arab society”.