Israel to halt Gaza strikes during Egypt PM visit

Hisham QandilIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to halt strikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip during a visit by his Egyptian counterpart Hisham Qandil to the coastal enclave, Israeli officials say.

On the other hand, the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas says the Egyptian prime minister has planned to visit the Gaza Strip to express his country’s solidarity with the residents of the Palestinian territory.

“The Egyptian leadership informed us that Prime Minister Hisham Qandil will visit Gaza tomorrow, accompanied by a number of ministers,” Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu said on Thursday.

The news came after at least 21 people were killed and over 160 others received injuries in a new wave of Israeli attacks on the enclave, which started on Wednesday.

The Hamas official said the move “confirms the support of the Egyptian leadership, government, and people for the Palestinian people in the shadow of the Israeli war against them in Gaza.”

The spokesman also said that Qandil was scheduled to meet the democratically-elected Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

The news came hours after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi condemned the Israeli aggression as “unacceptable” and warned it could lead to instability in the region.

On Wednesday, Morsi ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon the Israeli ambassador to Cairo over the attacks and recalled the country’s ambassador to Israel. He also called for an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers, which is due to be held in Cairo on Saturday.

On Thursday, Egyptians protested in Cairo to show their anger over the deadly air and ground attacks, calling on Morsi to cut all ties with the Tel Aviv regime.


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