Shin Bet Chief Heads to Egypt in Bid to Alleviate Rare Diplomatic Crisis Over Israel's Gaza Op

Egypt, whose mediation brought about the ceasefire following Israel's three-day bombardment of the Strip, is angry at Israel's handling of the operation and its killing of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi just one day following the ceasefire

Amos Harel
Amos Harel
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The incoming Head of Shin Bet Security Service Ronen Bar, on Monday.
The incoming Head of Shin Bet Security Service Ronen Bar, on Monday. Credit: Moti Milrod
Amos Harel
Amos Harel

Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar flew out to Cairo on Sunday for talks aimed at stemming the diplomatic crisis between Israel and Egypt. The security service chief is scheduled to meet with Egyptian intelligence head Gen. Abbas Kamel, who recently canceled a scheduled trip to Israel to protest the government’s conduct following Operation Breaking Dawn in Gaza.

Egypt, whose mediation brought about the ceasefire following Israel's three-day bombardment of the Strip, is angry at Israel's handling of the oepration and believed that Israel hadn’t offered enough opportunities to reach a diplomatic solution.

>> Gaza flare-up leaves new Egypt-Israel tension in its wake

The tension peaked the day after the operation ended. Prime Minister Yair Lapid was speaking by phone to President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who according to Egyptian sources, asked that Lapid restrain IDF operations in the West Bank, fearing military raids would lead to a flare-up in the Palestinian territories.

However, the Prime Minister’s Bureau did not properly brief the defense establishment about the call. The following morning, the IDF staged an operation to detain Ibrahim al-Nabulsi in Nablus. Nabulsi and two other Palestinians were killed in an exchange of fire with IDF troops and undercover officers. The Egyptians were furious. In response, Abbas’ visit to Israel was canceled. Abbas had been scheduled to meet with Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

Now, Bar is departing for Cairo in a bid to restore calm. Bar is scheduled to return to Israel on Monday.

The Shin Bet responded that it does not address reports about the Shin Bet chief’s schedule.

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