Egyptian and Israeli officials continued talks today aimed at improving bilateral relations, despite yesterday's attack here on four Israelis in which the wife of an Israeli diplomat was killed.
While Egyptian authorities conducted a manhunt for the assailants, three Israelis wounded in the attack flew to Tel Aviv today on an Israeli Air Force plane. The body of the dead woman, Etti Talor, 24, was scheduled to be flown to Israel tonight on an El Al commercial flight.
Talor was the ninth Israeli to be killed in Egypt since August of last year, when an Israeli diplomat was slain. An Egyptian police conscript killed seven Israeli tourists in the Sinai on Oct. 5.
Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres said today in Tel Aviv that the attack would not dampen efforts by Israel and Egypt to reach a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement.
"I'm not surprised that there are terrorists and terrorist organizations who want to ignite a large fire in the Middle East by terrorism, by murder, by violence. They will not dictate to us our efforts on behalf of peace," Peres said.
Peres urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to "cut off the arm of terrorism , which is trying to threaten the hope of peace in our region."
He added that he hoped that the Egyptian government would "take all the necessary measures" to find the terrorists and put them on trial.
The Israeli government formally requested Egypt "to take enough measures to guard the embassy staff and the embassy building," according to Israeli Embassy spokesman Issac Bar-Moshe.
Under increased security, Egyptian and Israeli negotiatiators continued discussions today on the disputed border territory of Taba and other bilateral issues.
Egyptian authorities set up roadblocks on all highways leading out of Cairo today and increased security measures at Cairo International Airport and the Israeli Embassy.
In a meeting this morning with Israeli Tourism Minister Avraham Sharir, President Mubarak conveyed his condolences to the Israeli government for the incident.
Sharir, who cut short his visit to Cairo to leave for Tel Aviv tonight, said that Mubarak repeated several times that "he is committed to the cause of peace."
A group calling itself Egypt's Revolution claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement delivered to a western news agency.
Mubarak also met today with Jordan's King Hussein, the first such summit since Mubarak visited Jordan in October and since Hussein's speech Feb. 19, in which he broke off political coordination on the peace process with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
According to one senior Foreign Ministry official, Mubarak wants to mend relations between Hussein and PLO leader Yasser Arafat, who is expected in Cairo later this week.