PA President Mahmoud Abbas contacted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi earlier on Wednesday and briefed the Middle East leader on Israel's ongoing operation in Gaza.

"Sisi stressed Egypt was interested in the safety of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and sparing this grave assault," a statement from Abbas's office said, adding that Cairo would "exert efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire.".

Under Sisi, Cairo has secured closures on the Egyptian-Gaza border, increasing economic pressure on Hamas from a long-running Israeli blockade.

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