Israel and Egypt are working “feverishly” to arrange a visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Egypt, a TV report said, as Sissi’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held talks with Netanyahu in Israel on Sunday night.
The goal of the visit would be to coordinate a regional peace effort, Channel 2 News said. Israel Radio reported earlier Sunday on efforts to arrange a Netanyahu-Sissi meeting, but there was no official confirmation.
The summit could be held in Cairo or Sharm -e-Sheikh, the TV report said.
The report said Sunday’s surprise visit to Israel by Shoukry was coordinated between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, whose Arab Peace Initiative is backed by Sissi and much of the Arab world and would form the basis of any regional peace effort. Netanyahu has rejected the Arab Peace Initiative in its current form but said in late May that it “contains positive elements that could help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians.”
Speaking to journalists alongside Netanyahu before their meeting, Shoukry said it was a “crucial and challenging juncture for the Middle East.” He added that Cairo was dedicated to “establishing a just and comprehensive peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people.”
“The goal we aim to achieve through negotiations between the two parties is one that is based on justice, legitimate rights and mutual willingness to coexist peacefully in two neighboring independent states in peace and security,” he said.
The grisly murder of Hallel Yaffa Ariel came just days after a senior adviser to PA president Mahmoud Abbas urged his people to slit the throats of Israelis rather than engage in dialogue. “If you ask me my blunt position, I would say—every place you find an Israeli, slit his throat,” Sultan Abu al-Einein, a central committee member of the ruling Fatah party, told the Palestinian website Donia al-Watan when asked about Palestinian officials participating in Israeli conferences. “Likewise, I am against talks, negotiations, meetings and normalization in all its forms with the Israeli occupation.”
In any case, the Jewish people are under greater threat now than they were under the Nazis, and this time British Christians especially must avoid the shameful option of passing by on the other side of the road like the religious folk in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10.25-37). Israel has fallen “into the hands of robbers” (v30). We must take pity on them, tend to their wounds and look after them. The church dare not remain silent. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.” That’s a pretty dire warning from God’s word.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry made a rare visit to Jerusalem on Sunday and asserted, standing alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that Cairo remained a “steadfast and unwavering” supporter of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sameh Shoukry’s was the first such visit by an Egyptian foreign minister since 2007. Recently, Israel has emerged as a discreet ally of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who has positioned himself as a central player in jump-starting the stalemated peace process.
The visit came amid talk of renewing an Arab peace initiative and with Israel’s military having recently saluted “unprecedented” intelligence cooperation with Egypt to combat the Islamic State group.
Speaking to journalists alongside Netanyahu before their meeting, Shoukry said it was a “crucial and challenging juncture for the Middle East.” He added that Cairo was dedicated to “establishing a just and comprehensive peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people, bringing this long conflict to an end.