Effort to rebuild Gaza stressed by El-Sisi in first call with Bennett

The call was the first between El-Sisi and Bennett, the latter of who took office after the establishment of a coalition government that ended Benjamin Netanyahu's position as prime minister.

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On Monday, a statement from the Egyptian Presidency said Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi underlined Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, the importance of following through on the country’s efforts to rebuild Gaza following last month’s fighting in the region.

The statement expressed that, in the Egyptian president’s first phone call with Naftali Bennett, since the latter took office two weeks ago, Sisi stressed Cairo’s support for efforts to reach a permanent and fair solution between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Sisi stressed the importance of supporting an Egyptian initiative to help rebuild the besieged Strip after last month’s fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Bennett’s office soon released a statement saying the Israeli leader had thanked Egypt for its role in brokering the ceasefire that ended the fighting.

The two leaders would work towards conducting a face-to-face meeting soon.

$500 million was pledged by Egypt and Qatar each for reconstruction efforts in the Palestinian enclave, where two-thirds of the 2 million residents rely on aid.

Israel states that efforts to recover two soldiers missing in action during the conflict in 2014, as well as two civilians who slipped separately into the enclave, are requirements for it to proceed with the reconstruction efforts. Meanwhile, Hamas has rejected the presence of any links between the reconstructions and the finding of missing persons.

The government located in Gaza has stated that 2,200 homes were destroyed and 37,000 were damaged by Israeli shellings during the 11-day cross-border exchange. Israel and Egypt jointly maintain a security blockade, restricting imports and exports from Gaza.

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