10:04 GMT +324 March 2019
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    A picture taken on November 29, 2015 shows the Tel Aviv skyline from the neighbourhood of Jaffa

    Egypt Sends Ambassador to Israel After 3-Year Break in Relations

    © AFP 2019 / THOMAS COEX
    Middle East
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    Egypt reinstated its ambassador in Israel after a three-year break in relations, as its campaign against Islamist militants in the Sinai peninsula continues adjacent to the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip.

    Israel has received its first ambassador from Egypt in over three years, local media reported on Sunday.

    The previous ambassador was removed in 2012 by Egypt's then-President Muhammad Morsi, who took power after protests which brought down long-time leader Hosni Mubarak. Morsi removed the Egyptian ambassador in protest of an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

    "Ambassador Hazem Khairat landed in Israel last week and will take the position of the head the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv," Aretz Sheva reported.

    Morsi was himself ousted in 2013 amid nationwide protests against his Islamist policies. Since Morsi's ousting, Egypt has maintained tense relations with the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, which had been politically allied with Morsi.

    The smuggling of weapons across the border between Egypt and Gaza is seen as a security issue by both Egypt and Israel. Egypt has been conducting a military campaign against Islamist militants in the Sinai peninsula, adjacent to Israel, since 2013.

    In November 2015, a Russian airliner was brought down over the Sinai peninsula, which the terrorist group Daesh took responsibility for. On Saturday, Egypt's military said that it had killed over 40 Daesh members in the northern part of the Sinai peninsula.

    Egypt and Jordan remain the only Arab countries to have officially recognized Israel.


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