Netanyahu Asks Egyptian FM to Help Free Israelis Held in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry after giving a joint statement prior to their meeting at his Jerusalem office on July 10, 2016. Shoukry met Netanyahu in Jerusalem for talks on reviving peace efforts with the Palestinians, in the first such visit …
GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: Egypt’s foreign minister reportedly agreed Sunday to help in efforts to return two Israelis held captive by Hamas in Gaza, as well as the bodies of two soldiers held in Gaza since they died in the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Jerusalem, where the two men discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and regional developments, an Israeli diplomatic official said.

Netanyahu brought up the Israelis held in Gaza and asked for Cairo’s help in returning them to Israel. Shoukry responded affirmatively, the official said.

The Israelis held in Gaza both suffer from mental illness, according to their families. Avraham Abera Mengistu wandered into the Strip in 2014. Hisham al-Sayid walked into Gaza in April 2015.

Hamas has said it will only return the bodies of soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul in exchange for an Israeli prisoner release.

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