Israeli minister confirms Netanyahu met al-Sisi over Gaza

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JERUSALEM: Israel’s finance minister confirmed on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt in May to discuss a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

A spokesman for Netanyahu had declined to comment on the meeting after it was first reported on Monday by Israel’s Channel Ten News.

Egypt and the United Nations have been trying to mediate a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, following a spike in cross-border violence in the past few months.

The two leaders discussed the easing of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza, rehabilitation of its infrastructure and terms for a ceasefire, the Channel Ten report said.

Asked on Israeli Army Radio whether he had known of the meeting, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon replied “Yes.” He added that “everything that will happen in Gaza will be done with Egyptian mediation and involvement”.

More than two million Palestinians are packed into the…

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