VIDEO - An Israeli security delegation made a short visit to Egypt and met with the country's intelligence chief, General Raafat Shehata, Egyptian sources reported Wednesday.
According to the sources, the meeting held Sunday focused on securing the Israel-Egypt border and reinforcing the lull agreement between Israel and Palestinians.
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They said the meeting also dealt with the arrest of Israeli national Andrei Pshenichnikov, who was sentenced to two years in prison a week ago for illegally infiltrating Egypt, and with Cairo's objection to the arrest of prisoners released as part of the Shalit deal.
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An Egyptian official was quoted as saying that the delegation would demand that Israel allow commercial goods to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing on Egypt's border, adding that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi had already held talks with Israel through Egypt's national security service.
Israel-Egypt border (Photo: EPA)
Smuggling tunnels destroyed along border (Photo: EPA)
"Israel has agreed to allow the entry of construction material from Qatar which the Israelis refused before. This reflects that both sides have been holding talks behind the scenes to avoid alerting the public opinion in Egypt, which refuses cooperation with Israel and the United States," the official said.
An Israeli security-diplomatic delegation and Hamas representatives have been holding talks in Cairo with Egypt's mediation as part of the negotiations on a permanent agreement that would serve as an extension of the ceasefire deal that ended Operation Pillar of Defense .
The talks are aimed at preserving the calm in Gaza, with Egypt's help, so Israel would be able to continue to ease its blockade on the coastal enclave.