Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Photo: AP
Qassam rocket in Gaza Strip
Photo: AP

Report: Egypt in talks to prevent Gaza escalation

Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports Egypt launches 'intensive talks' with Israel, Palestinian factions, to prevent flare-up in light of recent tensions in Strip. Meanwhile, al-Quds al-Arabi claims Gaza factions agreed to halt rocket attacks on Israel

In light of increasing tensions around Gaza, Egypt has opened high-level talks with Israel on the one hand and with Gaza factions on the other, in an attempt to prevent a deterioration that could lead to a flare-up, al-Sharq al-Awsat reported on Monday.


A high-ranking Egyptian official told the paper, "Egypt is currently holding intensive talks at the highest ranks with Israel and the Palestinian factions in order to deal with the increasing tension in the Gaza Strip and prevent an escalation.


"The situation in recent days has raised much concern in Egypt, which is always interested in stability in the Palestinian territories. This has led the Egyptian side to step up its talks and efforts with the Palestinian and Israeli parties, in order to stop the situation from deteriorating in light of the current escalation."


Meanwhile, reports that the Gaza organizations have decided to halt rocket attacks on Israel continue, despite the Qassam that exploded in an open area in Shaar Hanegev Regional Council Sunday night.


London-based al-Quds al-Arabi reported on Monday that the four Palestinian organizations operating in the Gaza Strip – Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, agreed on Saturday to halt rocket attacks on Israel.


According to the report, representatives of the four organizations agreed to uphold understandings that no rockets should be fired at southern Israel, in light of an escalation in Israeli threats to open an extensive offensive on Gaza.


On Saturday, the Islamic Jihad spokesman in the Gaza Strip, Daoud Shihab told his organization's Sawt al-Quds radio station that the movement has halted all rocket attacks on Israel "due to the internal conditions in which the Palestinian people live and due to the need to remove the siege on the Strip."


He added, "We have no intention of reversing this decision, but in the event of new Zionist aggression, no one can stop us from responding."


After his statements were published on the radio station's website, the report was removed and the Islamic Jihad was quick to deny it. An anonymous official said the organization made no such announcement and that it plans to act "according to the conditions on the field."


פרסום ראשון: 04.05.10, 11:47
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