On Thursday, an Egyptian delegation traveled to Tel Aviv to have talks with Israeli officials as a part of de-escalating the tensions between Israel and Hamas, and negotiate a ceasefire in the conflict observed in the Gaza Strip in the last days, according to Egyptian intelligence officials.
The two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also indicated that the delegation initially met with Hamas officials located in the Gaza Strip before traveling to Tel Aviv by land on the same day. Egypt has historically played a role in mediating between the two sides that have had a tense relationship since the mid-1900s.
The most recent sources of tension have been the eviction issue of Palestinian families located in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem by an Israeli court, to make way for Jewish settlers, the aggressive actions of the Israeli police against Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and the parade of far-right Israeli citizens in East Jerusalem to celebrate the occupation of the eastern part of the city following the 1967 Six-Day War.
More recently, the conflict has broken out at the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas, with both sides conducting rocket attacks against each other, resulting in 87 and 7 deaths at the Gaza Strip and Israel, respectively. The conflict began as Hamas demanded the retreat of Israeli forces from the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, after which Israel began bombarding the Gaza Strip. The airstrikes have been the most intense since the bombardments that occurred in 2014.
On late Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry condemned Israel’s attacks and strikes on Palestinian territory in a phone call with his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi. The foreign minister also expressed the importance of refraining from escalating tensions on both sides and to refrain from resorting to military means.