'Egypt: J'lem using Gaza escalation against PA statehood'

Cairo's ambassador in Ramallah reportedly says that Israeli actions are complicated its own efforts to stabilize Sinai; ceasefire talks ongoing.

August 21, 2011 13:58
1 minute read.
Victory signs flashed in front of Palestinian flag

palestinian flag_311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)

Egyptian Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman told the Voice of Palestine radio station Sunday that Israel is using the escalation in the Gaza Strip to complicate the PA's bid for statehood in the United Nations next month, Israel Radio reported.

The Egyptian ambassador added that Israeli operations in Gaza were also complicating Cairo's efforts to stabilize the Sinai Peninsula, according to the report.

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Othman was reportedly involved in efforts over the weekend to mediate a truce between Israel and Hamas. He said Sunday that Cairo's efforts to bring calm to Gaza are ongoing, there are no guarantees of success, Israel Radio reported.

One of Egypt's central demands in negotiating a truce in Gaza, the ambassador told a Palestinian newspaper, was for Israel to halt all attacks on the Strip.

On Saturday, London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported that Egypt has also been mediating between Israel and Hamas in an effort to stop the escalation in the Gaza Strip.

According to the report, Egypt delivered a message from Jerusalem to Hamas that Israel was only targeting the elements responsible for the terror attack in Eilat that left eight people dead on Thursday and would stop its strikes on Gaza if rocket fire into Israel stopped.

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