Israel accepted Egypt’s new Ambassador to the holy land, Hazem Khairat, over the weekend. The diplomat, who has prior experience as Egypt’s envoy to the Arab league and Egyptian ambassador to Chile, will be the first Ambassador from Cairo to permanently stay in Tel Aviv since 2012.
The move confirms more evidence of the strengthening of ties between Israel and Egypt. Relations between the two countries are recovering from a 2012 low point, when Cairo was ruled by an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood regime. But for some rhetorical barbs over the past few years, the two states have continued to uphold a peace treaty signed in 1979 following the Camp David Accords.
In 2012, Egypt’s former Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, pulled the Egyptian Ambassador to Israel to show disapproval with Jerusalem’s defensive war against Hamas, codenamed Operation Pillar of Defense. Morsi, seen as an ally of the Palestinian terror group, blamed Israel for the violence, without condemning Hamas. The Ambassador to Israel at the time, Atef Salem, never returned to his post during the Muslim Brotherhood-led regime in Cairo.
The permanent appointment of Ambassador Khairat has been lauded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We’ve been informed by the government of Egypt that it is dispatching an ambassador to Israel. This is an important piece of news, we appreciate it,” Netanyahu said.
The move is “deeply welcomed” and is “very good for cementing the peace that exists between Egypt and Israel,” Netanyahu added.
On the other hand, Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, Haim Korean, has broken new ground as the first Israeli ambassador to send a Ramadan greeting to Egyptian society, the Jerusalem Post reports.
“On my behalf and on behalf of the people of Israel ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, we wish the Egyptian people Ramadan Kareem,” said the ambassador in his message during the Islamic holy month.