Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon confirmed on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a secret meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi in May to discuss violent Palestinian protests on the border with the Gaza Strip.
When asked by the Army Radio whether he was aware of the meeting, Kahlon replied “Yes,” adding that “everything that is happening in Gaza is being done through Egyptian mediation and involvement.”
“We are not ashamed to say that we want a ceasefire with Hamas. The formula has always been the same — if they do not shoot — we do not shoot as well,” the minister added.
On Monday, Channel Ten reported that Netanyahu, accompanied by several advisers and security guards, visited Cairo on May 22 for talks with Sisi in an effort to settle the crisis around Gaza triggered by the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, which prompted a Palestinian exodus in 1948.
Since March a number of temporary ceasefire agreements between Israel and Hamas have been reached through Egyptian mediation.
Over 160 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops since the beginning of the Palestinian protest campaign against Israel, dubbed the Great March of Return.
Israeli authorities do not rule out holding a full-scale military operation in the enclave if rocket shelling and arson balloons attacks by Palestinians continue.