Shin Bet head Ronen Bar flew to Cairo on Sunday in an attempt to calm the crisis in relations between Egypt and Israel since the Egyptian-mediated cease-fire talks to end Operation Breaking Dawn.
Bar met with Egyptian Intelligence Minister Abbas Kamal, whose planned visit to Israel was canceled as a protest due to a misunderstanding by the Egyptians that Israel agreed to reduce its counterterrorism operations in Yehudah and Shomron in the days after the operation.
Haaretz reported that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi understood during a phone call with Prime Minister Yair Lapid that this request was granted. However, Lapid did not pass any such instructions to the security system and just one day after the ceasefire, Israeli security forces carried out a large-scale arrest operation in Shechem.
Al-Sisi viewed this as a major provocation by Israel, and as a result, senior officials in Egypt cut off contact with Israeli officials.
In addition, as part of the cease-fire talks, the Egyptians apparently promised Islamic Jihad that they would work for the release of Islamic Jihad commander Bassem al-Saadi, whose arrest triggered Operation Breaking Dawn. However, Israel never promised to release him and did not heed the Egyptians’ request.
In fact, a military court on Sunday extended al-Saadi’s detention by five days and the military prosecution intends to file an indictment against him.
The Shin Bet refused to comment on Bar’s trip to Cairo.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)