Israel has handed over materials that it claims are probably wreckage from an EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, with the loss of 66 lives.
The materials arrived at Cairo International Airport on Thursday in a large container aboard an Air Sinai flight from Tel Aviv. The delivery was received by Egypt's State Security Prosecutor and senior engineers from EgyptAir, who will hand it over to a forensic investigation committee.
Israel says the debris was found by two Israelis walking along the beach in Haifa. The debris was collected for transfer to Egypt on the instructions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Earlier this month, a previous batch of debris, also apparently from EgyptAir Flight 804, was transferred to Cairo, having been found on the beach in the Israeli town of Netanya, not far from Haifa.
The flight crashed during the last part of its journey from Paris to Cairo, with the loss of all 66 people on board. It crashed into the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea, making search and recovery operations particularly difficult.
Since then, a joint French-Egyptian search mission was able to locate the aircraft's black boxes, bringing them to the surface for examination by air crash investigators.
Preliminary findings from the black boxes suggest a fire on board the plane, although investigators have not said what the cause of the fire might be. A report on the conclusions of the investigation is expected later this year.
The Egyptian authorities are keen to determine the exact cause of the crash, saying that they will consider a number of possible causes. However, high on their list of possibilities is terrorism, bearing in mind the terrorist bomb attack on a Russian passenger plane over Sinai on October 31 that killed 224 people on board.
Both plane crashes have had a serious negative impact on Egypt's tourism industry, with tourist revenues plummeting in the past year. The possibility of a second terrorist attack points to a strategy of seeking to undermine Egypt's economy.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm