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Egypt trying to broker Hamas-Israel ceasefire

Last Updated: Sunday, December 28, 2008 - 00:00

Cairo, Dec 28: Egypt is trying to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to be followed by a truce, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said following talks with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
Abbas was in Cairo to discuss Egyptian and Arab League efforts to end the violence in Gaza that has seen the Israeli military kill more than 280 Palestinians in two days of air strikes against Hamas targets.

One Israeli was also killed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip yesterday.

Abul Gheit said that a meeting of Arab League Foreign Ministers set to be held in Cairo on Wednesday should agree on a plan to deal with the crisis that would include seeking a ceasefire and trying to renew a Hamas-Israel truce.

The ministers "must decide how to reach a ceasefire between the two parties as a prelude to an agreement on the truce which will lead to an opening of crossing points between Israel and Gaza."

Israel, Hamas and the United Nations Security Council will be informed of the outcome of Wednesday`s meeting, he said.

Egypt brokered a six-month truce between Hamas and Israel which expired last week, heralding a resurgence of tit-for-tat violence that led to Israel`s onslaught on the territory.

Abul Gheit said that Egypt was making "a big effort" to contain the situation in Gaza. "The essential now is to examine ways to stop the aggression and end military operations.”

"We have again summoned the Israeli ambassador to tell him that we reject the continuation of military operations and reject a ground invasion by Israeli forces."

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, December 28, 2008 - 00:00
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