Egypt sends first diplomatic envoy to Israel in 3 years

In a positive diplomatic development, Egypt reinstated its ambassador to Israel after three years of absence. 

By: AP and World Israel News
Atef Sayed Al-Ahl Peres

Atef Sayed Al-Ahl (L), the former Egyptian ambassador to Israel, with former Israeli president Shimon Peres at Al-Ahl’s welcoming ceremony. (Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)

After three years without an ambassador in Israel, Egypt has named a new diplomatic envoy to the Jewish State.

Egypt recalled its last ambassador at the outset of the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2012 against Hamas’s terror infrastructure.

A statement released Sunday said President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi named ambassador Hazem Khairat as part of a regular reshuffle of Egypt’s diplomatic corps. Khairat, the former Egytian ambassador to Damascus, replaced Atef Salem Al-Ahl, who was in his post for less than a month in late 2012.

Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was close with the Hamas terror organization, recalled Al-Ahl to protest Israel’s offensive. However, Morsi played a key role with the United States in negotiating a truce, making him the first Muslim Brotherhood leader to mediate between Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers.

Al-Sisi has kept good ties with Israel since he came to office after ousting Morsi. Relations have been strained with Gaza’s rulers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to announcement by saying it was an important diplomatic development. “We’ve been informed by the Government of Egypt that it is dispatching an ambassador to Israel. This is an important piece of news. We appreciate it. It’s something that has been, that is deeply welcomed in Israel and I think it’s very good for cementing the peace that exists between Egypt and Israel,” he stated on Sunday.