Israel announces USD 12.9m boost to West Bank settlements

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Israel has continued to maintain and expand its settlements inthe West Bank in lands that Palestinians believe are part of theirfuture state.

Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed Shoukry to Jerusalem in the first such visit by and Egyptian FM in almost a decade.

A recent report from the Quartet for the Middle East peace process-comprising the United Nations, the U.S., Russian Federation and the European Union-criticized both the current Israeli and Palestinian approaches to peace.

Egypt's foreign minister paid a rare visit to Israel on Sunday, offering Cairo's help to revive peace talks with the Palestinians, in a sign of strengthened ties between two countries sharing deep concern over regional unrest.

TEL AVIV-Egypt's foreign minister called on Israelis and Palestinians to take serious steps to resolve their decades-old conflict, saying on Sunday that Cairo would support efforts to bring peace.

"I welcome President al-Sisi's recent offer of Egyptian leadership in efforts to advance peace with the Palestinians and a broader peace in our region", Netanyahu said.

Shoukry is acting on Sisi's wish to be a mediator between Israel and the PA.

"We stress that this is an examination and not a criminal investigation into the prime minister", it read. However, the French efforts are still troubled.

In May, al-Sisi declared that Egypt was willing to host bilateral Palestine-Israel talks based on the so-called Arab Peace Initiative. "The peace process is the key issue for the Egyptians".

The attorney general's statement raised further speculation that its reference to "among others" could be hinting that the actions of additional people from Netanyahu's close circle are also being examined.

The affinity between Sisi, 61, and Netanyahu, 66, is also remarkable given that antipathy toward Israel still runs deep in Egypt.

In particular, the two sides are believed to be sharing intelligence regarding their joint adversary Hamas in Gaza and in the battle against Islamic State militants in Sinai. "It's not about love, it's not about common values. Sissi is succeeding where the United States has failed".

According to Eran Singer, an Arab Affairs correspondent forIsraeli Radio station Reshet Bet, "the visit attests to thedeepening of relations between Israel and Egypt". The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the meeting.

The Egyptian foreign minister echoed world sentiment. Israeli supplies would ease Egypt's energy crunch until it can develop its own field, the largest in the Mediterranean.

"Egypt remains ready to contribute toward achieving this goal" of establishing a just and comprehensive peace and a two-state solution, Mr. Shoukry said going into the meeting.

Idle Egyptian liquefaction plants could be reactivated to convert the Israeli gas for export to Europe and other worldwide markets.

He was referring to the only two successful negotiations thatIsrael held with Egypt and Jordan that led to formal peace.