Israel to hold 'independence day' celebration in Egypt
Israel's embassy in Egypt has organised an event at a Cairo hotel to celebrate 70th anniversary of Israeli statehood, seen by Palestinians as a catastrophe, or Nakba in Arabic.
Israeli diplomats in Cairo will host the celebration on Tuesday at the Ritz Carlton and have invited hundreds of Egyptian officials, journalists, businessmen, cultural figures, Ynet reported.
The Israeli news website said the event, which will be hosted Israeli Ambassador David Govrin, will take place under tight security.
It added that Egyptian officials tried to have the event cancelled but Cairo allowed the event to go on after Israeli officials stressed it was "critical in order to resume normal diplomatic relations".
News of the event was leaked to Egyptian weekly political magazine Rose al-Yousef, which published images of invitations to the event.
Palestinians commemorate the anniversary of Israel's creation in 1948 as the "Nakba" or the "catastrophe" that forcibly displaced and exiled the first of successive waves of Palestinian refugees.
Palestinians have been holding demonstrations demanding refugees be allowed to return to the homes they fled or were expelled from during the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.
At least 52 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since protests began along the Gaza border on March 30. No Israelis have been hurt in the weeks of protests.
Egypt, as well as Jordan, are the only Arab states to have formal peace treaties with Israel.
While there have long been suggestions of behind-the-scenes military and intelligence cooperation between Egypt and Israel, officials from both countries rarely comment publicly on them.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly spoken of improving ties with Arab nations in recent months without providing details, with many analysts saying their shared concern over Iran and IS militants has drawn them closer together.
The anniversary of the proclamation of the state of Israel was last month under the Hebrew calendar, but falls on May 14 according to the Western calendar.