CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday appointed as the country’s new intelligence chief a veteran official who was involved in the brokering of last year’s release of an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants, the official news agency said.

Mohammed Raafat Abdel- Wahed was key in the Cairomediated deal between Hamas and Israel that led to the freeing of Gilad Schalit in 2011 in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. His appointment was reported by the Middle East News Agency.

Morsi fired the previous chief over the Aug. 5 slaying of 16 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai along the border with Gaza and Israel. Abdel-Wahed was originally named as interim head. The former intelligence chief, Murad Muwafi, was fired because he did not act on an Israeli warning that militants planned an imminent attack in Sinai.



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