Jerusalem: Egypt's intelligence chief
Omar Suleiman was in Israel on Sunday to meet with top Israeli
officials during a low-profile visit to the Jewish state, an
Suleiman was to meet with Israel's Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak, as well as
the head of the Mossad, Israel's foreign spy service,
according to the official.
An Israeli government spokesman declined to comment.
Suleiman is Egypt's pointman for indirect talks
between Israel and the Hamas movement on a prisoner exchange
of some 1,000 jailed Palestinians for an Israeli soldier
captured by Gaza militants in 2006.
The visit comes a day after Egypt's Foreign Minister
Ahmed Abul Gheit implicitly confirmed that his country was
building an underground barrier with the Hamas-ruled Gaza
Strip in a new bid to prevent tunnel smuggling.
A network of tunnels beneath the Egypt-Gaza border
provide a crucial economic lifeline to Gaza, which has been
sealed off from all but vital humanitarian aid by Israel and
Egypt since Hamas took over in June 2007.
The tunnels are mainly used for supplying food, fuel
and electronic appliances to the beleaguered territory, but
Israel has accused Hamas of using the tunnels to rearm
following last year's devastating Gaza war.
First Published: Sunday, December 20, 2009, 19:04