PM Netanyahu meets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. (Avi Ohayon/GPO) Avi Ohayon/GPO
PM Netanyahu meets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

As Netanyahu met Egypt’s El-Sisi in New York to discuss Mideast issues, Abbas prepared to make life worse for Palestinians living in Gaza.

By: JNS.org/Israel Hayom

Following his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The two leaders appeared collegial as they discussed issues pertaining to the Middle East and cooperation between the two countries.

Netanyahu and El-Sisi discussed “the peace process, and stressed the importance of renewing negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis in order to form a comprehensive and just solution to the Palestinian problem,” according to an Egyptian spokesman. Israel did not comment.

Israel and Egypt have long jointly handled the threat of terror from Gaza, in addition to the opening of travel and trade lines between both countries and Gaza.

According to Channel 10 News, Netanyahu also met with El-Sisi on May 22, when Netanyahu allegedly flew with advisers and security guards to Cairo, where he stayed for just a few hours, taking part in the breaking of the Ramadan fast before returning to Israel.

An Egyptian intelligence delegation arrived in Gaza this past week as part of efforts to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which rules Gaza.

On Thursday, a landmark $15 billion natural-gas deal was announced, in which Israeli and Egyptian companies will buy into a pipeline transferring gas from Israel to Egypt.

Abbas to Take Gaza from Bad to Worse

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Abbas is in the midst of planning to impose additional sanctions on the Gaza Strip, ‎Palestinian officials were quoted by Arab media as ‎saying on Wednesday.‎

According to the reports, Abbas, who is currently in ‎New York to attend the 73rd U.N. General Assembly, plans to convene his government upon his ‎return to Ramallah and outline a series of new ‎financial sanctions against Hamas, the ‎terrorist organization that rules Gaza.‎

Hamas routed Abbas’s Fatah-led government from power ‎in Gaza in 2007, effectively splitting the ‎Palestinian population ‎into two separate political ‎entities. Egyptian efforts over the past ‎‎decade to ‎‎‎promote a ‎‎reconciliation between the rival ‎‎‎Palestinian ‎‎factions—the latest ‎‎brokered ‎‎in ‎October 2017—‎have so far failed.‎

The consistent failure to reinstate the P.A.’s power in Gaza has prompted Abbas to ‎impose a series of crippling financial sanctions on ‎its rulers, including suspending the salaries of ‎thousands of Hamas government employees and cutting ‎P.A. payments for the electricity used in Gaza, in an ‎effort to regain control of the Strip.

These moves have significantly aggravated the already dire economic ‎reality in Gaza. With unemployment exceeding ‎‎50 percent and no growth to speak of, the World Bank has ‎recently warned the coastal enclave’s economy was on the verge of “immediate collapse.”

Abbas also hopes ‎the sanctions on Hamas will pressure Israel to resume the ‎Israeli-Palestinian peace process, deadlocked since ‎‎2014, the media reports suggested.

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