Dec 01, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) Director Ronen Bar headed to Cairo on Sunday at the head of an Israeli delegation to meet with senior Egyptian security officials.

The two sides discussed, among other things, tightening security cooperation amid shared regional threats, the security situation in the Gaza Strip and a possible prisoner exchange deal with the Hamas terrorist organization.

This is Bar’s first working visit since being appointed last month.

A senior Egyptian official said that despite the intensive negotiations in recent weeks and reports of significant progress being made, a prisoner exchange agreement was not on the horizon.

“It can’t be said right now that the sides intend to dramatically change their positions in relation to moving forward with a prisoner deal in the near future,” said the official.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a pan-Arab media outlet headquartered in London, reported earlier this month that Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel was expected to visit Israel shortly to present a general outline for a prisoner swap to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, to which Hamas has already reportedly agreed.

Bennett met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in September.

The two discussed expanding trade, increasing mutual tourism, as well as dealing with “Iranian aggression” and “global terror groups” in the Middle East.