Parliament condemned on Friday Israel’s insistence on building settlements in the West Bank. A statement released by parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee stated that Israel was not seeking peace solutions, and is neglecting efforts by Egypt and the international community in the region.
The statement added that it is obvious that Israel is expanding its settlements in the West Bank and destroying the residences of Palestinians, proving that they are hindering peace.
The international community should take a stance against Israel’s obscene acts, the statement proclaimed, adding that Israel has no true “political will” to reach a solution.
Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Egypt’s attempts to revive peace talks between Israel and Palestine while celebrating the 23 July Revolution anniversary at the Egyptian embassy in Israel.
Netanyahu said that Egyptian and Israeli people had put the cornerstone to important principles and human civilisation “thousands of years ago”. Israel was founded in 1948.
Netanyahu added: “We have to collaborate in fighting terrorism, because Israeli-Egyptian relations have been rather strong for four decades. I appreciate President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s efforts in enhancing security in the Middle East.”
Israeli president Reuven Rivlin said that Egypt is being powerful and stable amid the unrest caused by terrorism in the region. He also offered condolences to all those who were somewhat affected by terrorism, stressing that Israel is supporting Egypt in its war against radicals.
Egyptian ambassador Hazem Khairat pointed out Al-Sisi’s efforts to achieve stability and peace between Israel and Palestine, adding that any violations to the peace achievement attempts will have major effects on the region.
Controversy erupted on social media following Netanyahu’s speech on the anniversary of the revolution, accusing Egypt of normalising relations with Israel, and considering the prime minister’s visit to the embassy during a national anniversary an offence to Egypt.
A member in the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body, reportedly said that ties between Egypt and Israel are now stronger, compared to former president Anwar Al-Sadat’s era.
On 10 July, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited Israel in an alleged attempt to find a just and comprehensive peace for both Israel and Palestine. This was the first official visit of Egyptian officials to Israel since 2007. This visit also sparked controversy due to the location of the joint press conference between Netanyahu and Shoukry─occupied Jerusalem─and because of Netanyahu’s invitation to Shoukry in the prime minister’s private residence.
Prior to Shoukry’s visit, Al-Sisi said in a speech that a solution should be reached after the conflict between Israel and Palestine continued for over half a century, stressing the necessity of putting an end to it.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu visited four Nile basin countries, during which he addressed the Nile water issue and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis. He supported Ethiopia’s plan to develop its water resources. Israel has been trying to revive relations with Arab and African countries in what it calls a ‘fresh focus’, and is calling for collaboration with these countries.