Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi urged Benjamin Netanyahu to avoid “any measures that could lead to a tense situation and complicate the regional scene,” during a congratulatory phone call with Israel’s new prime minister.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Sunday urged Israel’s new extremist government to refrain from “any measures” that could inflame regional tensions, in a phone call congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his return to office.
The leaders spoke days after Netanyahu’s new Cabinet was sworn in, promising in its coalition guidelines to make settlement construction in the occupied West Bank a top priority.
According to a statement from the Egyptian leader’s office, Sisi cautioned Netanyahu to avoid “any measures that could lead to a tense situation and complicate the regional scene”.
Sisi also said his government would continue its efforts to “maintain calm” between Israel and the Palestinians, the statement added.
Netanyahu’s office said the two leaders discussed Egyptian-Israel ties and stressed “the importance of promoting peace, stability and security for the sake of both peoples and for all peoples in the Middle East”.
Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and has since persecuted and inflicted violence on the Palestinians living there.
Netanyahu returned to power on Thursday for an unprecedented sixth term as Israel’s premier, taking the helm of the most religiously conservative, far-right and extremist government in its history.
Netanyahu’s cabinet includes extremist lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has frequently used violently racist anti-Palestinian rhetoric.
Meanwhile, Religious Zionism Party leader Bezalel Smotrich, who has used similar rhetoric against Palestinians, has been given the responsibility of increasing Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.
Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Accords peace deal in 1979 and share diplomatic relations, with ties between the two increasing over the years, and Cairo and Tel Aviv have signed a number of security and economic deals.