Egyptian president confirms Israel and Egypt cooperating in fight against ISIS in northern Sinai.
Egypt and Israel are working together to combat ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula.
In an interview with CBS 60 Minutes, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi confirmed Israel and Egypt continue to cooperate to rid ISIS factions from northern Sinai. When asked about cooperation with the Jewish state, Sisi responded “We have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis.”
Israel has assisted Egypt in the past in combatting Islamic Jihad, Hamas and ISIS forces in Sinai as part of ongoing efforts by the Egyptian military and security forces to eradicate extremists and terrorists from Sinai. They have coordinated on Hamas tunnels and security breaches from the Gaza Strip on Israel and Egypt’s borders.
In September of last year, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with President Sisi in New York during the UN General Assembly. Their meeting was centered on the Gaza Strip, bilateral relations, the peace process and “regional developments”. The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed the meeting, releasing the statement “The two met for almost two hours and discussed regional developments and the situation in Gaza.”
Prior to the meeting, Egypt’s General Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamel visited Israel in September, his visit centered on an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire with Hamas. Talks with Israeli security officials reportedly centered on the easing of restrictions on Israel’s borders with Gaza and humanitarian support, as well as the return of the remains of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, held since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and release of Israeli citizens Avera Mengistu and Hisham Sayed.
Netanyahu also met secretly with Sisi in May of 2018 as well. The prime minister reportedly flew to Egypt with a small group of advisors, talks centered on President Trump’s peace plan, the Gaza Strip and regional coordination. The meeting also focused on Egypt’s ongoing efforts to establish a long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, as well as strategies to return the Gaza Strip to Palestinian Authority control.
Amir will give a Middle East Update from California on Friday, Jan 4, 2019 at 8:00 pm.