After a three-year hiatus, Egypt has sent a new ambassador, Hazem Khairat, to Israel.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry announced today that Egypt will be stationing an ambassador to Israel in Tel Aviv for the first time in three years, according to the Associated Press and Israel National News.
The newly appointed ambassador, Hazem Khairat, landed in Israel last week and was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during the cabinet meeting on Sunday.
The previous Egyptian ambassador had been removed by former president Mohamed Morsi, in protest of Israel's 2012 offensive in Gaza, titled Operation Pillar of Defense. But after Morsi was overthrown in 2013, his successor President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi - who has much closer relations with Israel – has reestablished diplomatic representation.
"This past weekend a new Egyptian ambassador arrived in Israel, Hazem Khairat. I welcome his arrival; I welcome the re-stationing of an Egyptian ambassador in Israel, which will enable us to further strengthen relations with this important and key Arab country," Netanyahu said Sunday morning.
Egypt has also been attempting to counter smugglers as well as terrorists crossing from Gaza into the Sinai Peninsula, a measure which has escalated tensions between Egypt and the Hamas-controlled strip. Egypt’s deterrence has also included the recent bombardment of Rafah, in the Sinai Peninsula, as well as the flooding of smuggling tunnels.
In September, Israel reopened its embassy in Cairo, four years after it was attacked by demonstrators protesting the deaths of five Egyptian policemen killed by Israeli forces.
Photo credit: Eelco Roos, licensed under Creative Commons.