Israeli official source reported on Sunday that the Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom will be visiting Cairo on Tuesday for meetings with his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Abul Gheit.
Shalom’s quick visit that will not last for more than few hours, according to the source, will be mostly focused on the development of talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
It is expected that the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the head of the intelligence Omar Suleiman will also meet Shalom in Cairo.
The Qatar based Al-Bayan newspaper, said on its website that both Israel and Egypt insisted to hold the visit on its scheduled time, following reports that the visit will be delayed after Egypt voice criticism to Israel over the Israeli government honoring people involved in ‘Lavon affair’.
In 1954, Israeli agents working in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and left evidence behind implicating Arabs as the culprits. The ruse would have worked, had not one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to capture and identify one of the bombers, which in turn led to the round up of an Israeli spy ring.
Some of the spies were from Israel, while others were recruited from the local Jewish population. Israel responded to the scandal with claims in the media that there was no spy ring, that it was all a hoax perpetrated by ‘anti-Semites’. But as the public trial progressed, it was evident that Israel had indeed been behind the bombing. Eventually, Israel’s Defense Minister then Pinhas Lavon was brought down by the scandal, although it appears that he was himself the victim of a frame-up by the real authors of the bombing project, code named ‘Operation Susannah.’