Israel, Egypt meet over shaky Gaza truce
This is the first visit to Egypt by an Israeli foreign minister in almost a decade. The tenuous cease-fire, as well as plans to restore the battered Palestinian enclave, were at the top of the agenda. On Sunday, Israel's foreign minister came in Cairo, Egypt's capital, in an attempt to maintain a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group. Egypt played a key role in mediating a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of more than 250 people, predominantly Palestinians, earlier this month. In the poor Palestinian region, the commencement of combat resulted in massive devastation. Prior to his meeting with Egyptian colleague Sameh Shoukry, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi tweeted that it was “the first formal visit of an Israeli FM [foreign minister] in 13 years” to Egypt. Following the meeting, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Houkry emphasised the need of refraining from all behaviours that contribute to escalation, particularly in the Palestinian territories, according to a statement released by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. Cairo also urged Israel to take into account the special sensitivity surrounding east Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and other Islamic and Christian holy sites, according to the statement. Egypt's position on a two-state solution, which Shoukry described as "the only way to build a just and enduring peace," was also reaffirmed. After Hamas spokesperson Abdelatif al-Qanou claimed Hamas is ready to negotiating a prisoner swap with Israel, a prisoner swap might be in the cards. Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, is set to visit Cairo later this week.