By Tovah Lazaroff, JPost-—
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid underscored the need for Hamas to release the Israeli hostages held in Gaza, when he met with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, in Brussels on Sunday night.
Egypt is holding indirect talks between Israel and Hamas to broker a ceasefire deal that would include the release of the remains of two soldiers killed during the 2014 Gaza war and the release of two Israeli citizens captive there.
At issue is also a mechanism to prevent the Hamas seizure for military purposes of humanitarian aid and funds. Hamas is pressing in particular for the resumption of Qatari cash payments of $30 million, used for salaries and payments to needy families prior to the Gaza war in May.
Lapid and Shoukry also discussed humanitarian aid to Gaza as well as larger security issues such as terror threats.
The conversation between the two men, which lasted an hour, took place prior to Lapid’s anticipated meeting Monday with the European Union Foreign Affairs Council.
n describing the meeting on Twitter, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry stressed “the need to resolve the current stalemate between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, leading to just and comprehensive peace negotiations.” Lapid previously spoke with Shoukry in June.
Separately, PA President Mahmoud Abbas placed a congratulatory call to his Israeli counterpart, Issac Herzog, who entered office just last week. Continue Reading….