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Israel, Egypt discuss situation in Gaza

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published February 23,2021

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin received Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tareq Al-Mulla at his office Monday for talks on the situation in the Gaza Strip, the local Hebrew daily Maariv reported.

Rivlin described Al-Mulla's visit to Israel as "important" and "timely" when more Arab countries have taken the path of normalization with Israel "that began more than 40 years ago with the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement."

During the meeting, Rivlin said efforts to resolve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip should continue in order to bring "our children" back to Israel, he said, referring to four Israelis being held by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

Israel has imposed a land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip following Hamas' victory in legislative elections in 2006.

The move has created harsh economic and living conditions for more than 2 million Palestinians living in the Strip.

Hamas is holding four Israeli prisoners, including two soldiers captured during the Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2014. Hamas has demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in exchange for the Israelis.

On Sunday, Al-Mulla arrived in Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks on bolstering bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, the first by an Egyptian minister in the last five years.