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Egyptian intelligence official to meet Bennett, Gantz in Israel

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (L) meets with Egyptian intelligence director Abbas Kamel at his office in Tel Aviv on May 30, 2021. (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz (L) meets with Egyptian intelligence director Abbas Kamel at his office in Tel Aviv on May 30, 2021. (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)

Major General Abbas Kamel, the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate, is on his way to Israel to meet with both Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

Senior defense officials tell Zman Yisrael, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister publication, that the meeting with Kamel is not connected to ongoing talks over allowing Qatari funds to enter the Gaza Strip. Egypt helped broker the truce that ended the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in May.

The meeting comes days after a rocket was fired from Gaza toward Israel. Despite Bennett’s vow to meet fire with fire, the IDF did not respond militarily to the rocket strike.

According to a Channel 12 news report, Bennett and Gantz agreed to not respond to the rocket fire in order to allow a path for potential negotiations with Hamas on the Qatari cash as well as on Israelis being held in Gaza.

Bennett is also expected to head to Washington later this month to meet with US President Joe Biden, and sources suggest that Egypt is hoping to make a good impression on the Biden administration before that trip.

Kamel was in Israel in May and met with both Gantz and then prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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