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Report: Mossad chief secretly visits Egypt to discuss annexation

June 1, 2020 at 1:37 pm

Yossi Cohen, director of Israel’s national intelligence agency Mossad on 3 July 2017 [HEIDI LEVINE/AFP/Getty Images]

Israel’s Mossad chief met with the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service to discuss annexation of the West Bank, during a secret trip to Cairo a few weeks, the New Arab reported.

Israel’s Yossi Cohen met top ranking Egyptian officials to discuss the annexation of large areas of the occupied West Bank, as well as the situation in Gaza and Trump’s Middle East peace plan, among other issues.

The Mossad chief discussed the likely reaction from Palestinian groups, particularly Hamas, to the annexation of illegal Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley.

The pair also talked about the possibility of the situation “going out of control”, according to the report.

Sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Israel’s biggest concern is that Palestinians will react violently with suicide operations, a tactic commonly used during the Second Intifada. Tel Aviv fears Jerusalem is especially vulnerable to such violent retaliations, according to the report.

Talks between Cohen and head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service Major General Abbas Kamel, took place in the presence of the Arab state’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

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Discussions were followed by an Egyptian briefing to Jordanian officials, in which the group talked over a number of points that Cohen made, the source was cited as saying.

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz last week threatened to reconsider his country’s relations with Israel over its West Bank annexation plans, stressing Amman would “not accept unilateral Israel moves to annex Palestinian lands”.

King Abdullah II, meanwhile, warned Israeli annexation would lead to a “massive conflict with Jordan”, and a possible end to the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty.

Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries in the Middle East to have formal peace agreements with Israel, with Cairo occasionally seeking to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to annex 80 per cent of the West Bank’s illegal settlements under the peace proposal by the Trump administration unveiled earlier this year.

The plan has been widely rejected by Palestinians, as well as the wider Middle Eastern community.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced last week all agreements with the US and Israeli governments “including those related to security” would no longer apply, as a result of Tel Aviv’s annexation plans.

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