Quarterly Updates for (16 Aug 2017 — 15 Nov 2017)

The Egyptian govt., particularly its intelligence apparatus, was instrumental in brokering the new Palestinian reconciliation agreement. Dir. of Egypt’s General Intelligence Directorate Fawzy mediated the Hamas-Fatah talks in Cairo that led to the 10/12 deal, and he was expected to broker follow-up talks planned for late 11/2017 as well. Egyptian pres. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi frequently framed Palestinian reconciliation as a prelude to a broader Palestinian-Israeli and Arab-Israeli peace. On the sidelines of the UNGA in New York, he reportedly told (9/17) Israeli PM Netanyahu and a group of U.S. Jewish leaders that he was eager to build on the Palestinian deal. “When the world sees the Palestinian sides united, this helps achieve comprehensive peace that fulfills the ambitions of our nations,” he reportedly said in a recording obtained by al-Quds on 10/3. “We have no time to waste.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli govt. took a major step toward rebuilding relations with Egypt. On 8/23, Israel’s amb. to Egypt David Govrin led a delegation to Cairo, marking his first visit since the Israeli Embassy in Cairo was evacuated over unspecified “security concerns” in 12/2016 (see JPS 46 [3]). The following week, Govrin and 8 staffers returned to Cairo, where they resumed their diplomatic duties out of his suburban home.