Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Sisi, Israeli PM Discuss Reports of Mass Grave for Egyptian Soldiers over Phone

Sun 10 Jul 2022 | 11:14 PM

On Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, to discuss reports of a mass grave in central Israel containing the bodies of Egyptian commandos killed during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The two leaders focused on U.S. President Joe Biden's upcoming trip to the Middle East and noted "the need for calm" for the Palestinian issue, according to the statement.

Referring to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel signed in 1979, they described the agreement as "the foundation for the two countries' strategic relations and a central pillar of regional stability."

They also expressed their "commitment to continuing to develop relations, especially in the economic sphere."

Biden is scheduled to visit Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia between July 13 and 16. The U.S. president said in a statement in late June that his trip aims partly to "deepen Israel's integration in the region."

Israel hopes that the visit could lead to some improvement in its ties with Saudi Arabia as the two countries have no diplomatic relations.

Two Israeli newspapers — Yedioth Ahronoth and Haaretz — have recently published archival material and interviews with witnesses about how dozens of Egyptian commandos killed in battle may be buried in an area between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

“The Egyptian president raised the report about the collective grave of Egyptian soldiers during the [1967] war,” Mr Lapid’s office said.

He directed his military secretary “to examine the issue in-depth and update Egyptian officials", the Israeli office said.

In the war, Israel captured Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from Jordan.

Egypt fought Israel again in 1973, when Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal in a surprise attack.

The two neighbours signed a peace treaty in 1979, the first between an Arab state and Israel.