(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Wednesday), 27 December 2006, at his Jerusalem office, met Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. They discussed the cease-fire violations and their implications. Foreign Minister Aboul-Gheit expressed Egypt’s profound appreciation of Israel’s restraint policy and its contribution to strengthening the moderate elements in the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Olmert explained the complexity of the situation in wake of continued rocket fire against Israel during the ceasefire, and Israel’s need to safeguard and protect the lives of its citizens.

Also discussed was the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Olmert and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak next weekend in Egypt. The two leaders are due to discuss developments between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the wake of Prime Minister Olmert’s meeting with Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen, the importance of preventing smuggling on the Philadelphia route and developments in the Middle East.