Bennett and Sisi speak of Israeli captives in Gaza, agree to meet

The Israelis held captive in Gaza must be returned, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi when the two men held their first conversation on Monday as efforts continued toward a permanent cease fire between the IDF and Hamas.

Both Bennett and Sisi agreed to meet as soon as possible.

Sisi emphasized the importance of a Gaza Strip and the need to improve the civil and humanitarian situation for the Palestinians living there, Bennett’s office reported.

Bennett for his part spoke of the importance of the Hamas return of the remains of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war and the release of the two Israelis held captive in Gaza.

It is yet another sign that tensions between Israel and Hamas are easing.

Egypt and the United Nations are key brokers in an effort to achieve a permanent cease-fire. Last week, the status of talks to maintain calms between Israel and Hamas appeared to be on shaky ground.

But this week, the process still appeared to be advancing.

The two leaders spoke of the bilateral issues between the two countries and affirmed the significance of the 1979 peace between them to regional stability.

Bennett also thanked Sisi for his role in maintaining that stability. An Israeli delegation is expected to head to Cairo this week to discuss continued Egyptian efforts to broker a Gaza cease fire, according to a report over the weekend in the London based news organization Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland welcomed the re-entry of fuel into Gaza.

“Under the United Nations framework, the Qatari funded fuel deliveries for the Gaza Power Plant will resume tomorrow, Monday, as per the previous agreement between the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the State of Qatar.

“I welcome all steps taken to de-escalate the situation. UN will continue to work with all concerned parties and partners to solidify a ceasefire and help the people of Gaza,” Wennesland said.






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