Egypt’s intelligence chief has met Hamas leaders in Gaza in an effort to bolster a ceasefire between the Palestinian militant group and Israel and to discuss reconstruction plans following the recent hostilities.
The visit was the first by an Egyptian intelligence chief to the enclave since the early 2000s.
“The discussion is focused on ways to cement the calm and Gaza reconstruction plans following the recent Israeli aggression,” said a Hamas official, who asked not to be named.
Hamas officials, led by Gaza chief Yehya Al-Sinwar, would urge Cairo to pressure Israel to stop “its assaults against our people in Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah,” he said.
Eleven days of fighting between Israel and Hamas erupted on May 10 amid Palestinian anger at Israeli police raids around the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem and plans to evict Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah district of the city to make way for Jewish settlers.
Gaza medical officials said 253 Palestinians were killed during the fighting. Palestinian rockets and missiles killed 13 people in Israel.
Large posters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Egyptian flags decorated streets across the enclave to greet intelligence chief Abbas Kamel. Hundreds of people lined up outside the entrance to Gaza waving Egyptian flags as his motorcade drove by.