Egypt’s intelligence chief to visit Palestine as FM meets Israeli counterpart

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Egypt’s intelligence chief Abbas Kamel was expected in the occupied Palestinian territories Sunday, a Palestinian minister said, after an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire ended a flare-up of fighting between Israel and militant group Hamas.

Kamel was set to meet with Palestinian leadership, Palestinian civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh said on Twitter, following the truce on May 21 that ended 11 days of deadly exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas that ravaged the besieged coastal enclave.

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“Abbas Kamel arrives today in Palestine to consult with the Palestinian leadership on the latest developments after the recent aggression and its repercussions,” Sheikh said on Twitter.

He would also “discuss what Jerusalem and its sanctities are exposed to, and the Gaza reconstruction, and the Palestinian national dialogue,” Sheikh added.

Israeli public radio reported that Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi was headed to Cairo. Egypt’s foreign ministry confirmed Israel’s top diplomat was visiting Cairo.

The latest flare-up was the result of increased tensions in Jerusalem, including over Israeli security forces cracking down on Palestinians inside the al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest site.

Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque. (File photo: Reuters)
Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque. (File photo: Reuters)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has pledged $500 million to help reconstruction efforts in the densely populated Gaza Strip, which was pummeled by Israeli airstrikes.

Israeli strikes on the enclave killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, the Gaza health ministry says.

Rockets and other fire from Gaza claimed 12 lives in Israel, including one child and an Arab-Israeli teenager, medics say.

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