Egypt Appoints First Ambassador To Israel in Three Years

CAIRO (Reuters) -

Egypt has appointed its first ambassador to Israel since 2012, signaling improving ties between states that both see Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, as a threat.

Former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood recalled Cairo’s ambassador to Israel in November 2012 over an Israeli targeted killing of Hamas’s military commander.

“President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a republican decree appointing new diplomats abroad which included … Ambassador Hazem Khairat … as Egyptian ambassador to Tel Aviv,” state news agency MENA reported on Sunday.

Former army chief Sisi was elected president last year after he ousted Morsi in 2013 following mass protests against the latter’s rule. He has since presided over a systematic crackdown over Islamists.

Egyptian courts have declared Hamas, its armed wing Qassam Brigades and the Brotherhood as terrorist organizations, although the ruling against Hamas was reversed in June.

Israel confirmed that it had been notified of the Egyptian decision.