Mubarak says Israel should stop 'besieging' PA

March 29, 2006 00:16


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President Hosni Mubarak has called on Israel to stop besieging the Palestinians economically and targeting their leaders. In an interview with Wednesday's edition of Al-Mussawar magazine, the Egyptian leader said he was waiting for the Israelis to form a new government after Tuesday's general elections before he contacts them to urge a resumption of the peace process. While Israel has refused to deal with the incoming Palestinian government, led by Hamas, Mubarak said Israel's next government could negotiate with "the Palestinians that are represented by the Palestinian Liberation Organization and supervised by its leader Abu Mazen," as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is known. Israel should "stop its military operations against the Palestinians and chasing their leaders," Mubarak said in the interview, excerpts of which were published late Tuesday by Egypt's semi-official Middle East News Agency. Mubarak said Israel should stop "besieging Palestinians economically and not retain Palestinian customs revenue, which will subject Palestinians to more economic crises and, in turn, encourage more violence."

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