Israeli media sources reported on Tuesday that a senior political official in Israel, close to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, stated on Tuesday that Israel received an Egyptian guarantee to keep the Rafah Border Terminal closed until achieving a prisoner swap deal.
The sources added that Egypt vowed to implement all needed efforts to stop arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip. Also, Egypt vowed, as requested by Olmert, to start talks with the Palestinians in order to push forward a prisoner swap deal. Such talks could start as soon as Ofar Dekel, the Olmert's envoy for Prisoners and MIA affairs, arrives in Cairo in the coming days.
On Tuesday at noon, Mubarak and Olmert met in the Egyptian resort of Sharm Al Sheikh, and held talks on the prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian Resistance, the truce, and the Egyptian role in stopping the flow of arms into the Gaza Strip via the Sinai Peninsula.
Additionally, an Israeli official stated that the prisoner swap deal was not part of the truce agreement. This statement contradicts the statements of several Israeli officials who claimed that the truce deal included the release of the captured soldier Gilad Shalit.
The official added that Mubarak vowed to help in pushing forward the prisoner deal, and stated that Egypt vowed to keep the Rafah terminal closed until the issue of Shalit is resolved.
Furthermore, the official remarked that Egypt also vowed to exert maximum effort to stop weapon trafficking going into Gaza.
Olmert and Mubarak held a one-hour meeting before team members of both sides joined their meeting.
Olmert welcomed that Egyptian efforts which led to the truce deal and said that “Egypt and Israel have a strategic partnership”. He also said that “the solid leadership of Mubarak on his ongoing efforts for truce and calm are greatly welcomed by Israel and the International Community”.