Israeli, Gaza leaders to meet in Cairo, UAE-Israel press on: Israel Update

May 28, 2021

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi invited officials from Israel and Gaza to Cairo for direct talks, during a visit from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on Wednesday. It has been reported that the parties discussed the return of captives and the rebuilding of the Gaza strip. Blinken’s visit to Cairo was part of his larger trip to the Middle East, during which he met with leaders from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan. On Thursday it was reported that, in anticipation of the talks, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi will visit Cairo next week, and that a senior Egyptian official will soon be visiting Israel. Meanwhile, Israeli officials in the Defense Ministry remain concerned that rocket fire might resume, despite the prospect of peace talks.


Israel’s top diplomat to the United Arab Emirates visited Dubai this week, and participated in a ceremony at the Arabian Peninsula’s first permanent exhibition to commemorate the Holocaust. Wednesday’s visit seemed to demonstrate the commitment of the two countries to establish deeper ties after the Gaza cease-fire. During the violence between Israel and Hamas, the UAE government and its top officials publicly expressed concern over riots in east Jerusalem; the police action at Al-Aqsa Mosque; and the dispute taking place in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Questions have been raised about whether the UAE would halt the momentum of its strategic relationship with Israel after the recent conflict, but the Dubai visit seems to signal that the process of normalization is moving forward. “What we see here is the exact opposite of what we see in Gaza... What we see here in the whole normalization process is a departure from the past,” Israeli Ambassador Eitan Na’eh said.


On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted 24-9 to create a permanent, fact-finding mission into possible “violations” surrounding the latest Gaza violence—and into “systematic” abuses in the Palestinian territories, and inside Israel. 14 countries out of the 47-member body abstained, giving the resolution a slim, one-vote majority. No European Union country supported the measure.This is the first time the UNHRC has created a permanent investigation into any UN member state. Israel’s foreign minister immediately stated that Israel had no intention of cooperating with the probe, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Today’s shameful decision is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council’s blatant anti-Israel obsession.” The decision to call for such a probe was sparked by the 11-day IDF-Hamas war, and was submitted by the Palestinian Authority and Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.


Our Jewish Community Relations Council of Cincinnati has created a resource page for the recent events in Israel, Gaza, and surrounding areas, and will continue to monitor the evolving situation. Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) continues to compile the latest information and analysis. Also, your support for the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s Annual Campaign is making crisis response here and in Israel possible. Click here to help meet these urgent needs.


Shabbat Shalom, 


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


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