UN envoy says Gaza de-escalation talks in Cairo ‘productive’

The UN envoy for Middle East peace said that a meeting with the Egyptian foreign minister on ways to ease the escalation of conflict in Gaza was “productive.” 

By: World Israel News Staff 

The United Nations envoy for Middle East peace Nikolai Mladenov used the adjective “productive” to describe his meetings Sunday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and other officials to calm tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

“A productive day of meetings with Egypt officials on our efforts to de-escalate the situation in Gaza, resolve all humanitarian issues and support Egyptian led reconciliation process,” he wrote on Twitter after the meeting.

“The devil is always in the details, but we are moving forward in the interest of peace.”

Traveling among regional heads of state, Mladenov has endeavored to deescalate the situation in Gaza, preempting a full-blown conflict.

The launching of incendiary devices such as kites and balloons carrying firebombs or improvised arson fire-starting devises — such as a cigarette tied to bottle of fuel — has set on fire thousands of acres of farmland causing millions of shekels in damage.

The confrontations have at times spiraled into military exchanges, with Palestinians in Gaza firing dozens of rockets at southern Israeli towns and the army launching air strikes on Hamas positions in Gaza.

The talks in Cairo came after Mladenov recently met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Before heading to Egypt, the envoy also met with Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip.

Mladenov has been pushing a proposal for calming tensions in cooperation with Egypt and other Arab states, Ha’aretz reported.

According to his proposal, Israel would remove recent restrictions on the Kerem Shalom border crossing for goods into Gaza and the sides would agree to a ceasefire which that include the cessation of airborne arson attacks.

Mladenov’s deal would also include Hamas’s committment to return the remains of two IDF soldiers’ bodies held in Gaza in exchange for advancing humanitarian projects financed by the international community.

The Ha’aretz report did not mention what would be the fate of two Israeli citizens, reportedly mentally unstable, who wandered into Gaza and are being held by Hamas.

Mladenov and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri met in the Egyptian capital Sunday and discussed the situation in Gaza. He also discussed potential scenarios for solving the tensions between the Fatah and the Hamas.


in Cairo on Sunday and described the latest escalation of terror in Judea, Samaria and Gaza as a “humanitarian crisis.” He also discussed efforts to reconcile the Palestinian factions.