Egypt, Arab League condemn bombing

Egypt: Attack is "act of terrorism" that contradicts "all tenets and laws."

arab league 298.88 (photo credit: Associated Press)
arab league 298.88
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Egypt and the Arab League condemned Tuesday the suicide attack in Tel Aviv that killed nine people and called on both sides to return to the negotiation table. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit described the attack as "an act of terrorism," a strong condemnation from an Arab state that usually jointly blames both Israel and the Palestinians for the ongoing violence. Aboul Gheit strongly denied this claim in a statement issued Tuesday. "Premeditated attacks on civilians contradict all tenets and laws," he said. Such attacks are "part of hated acts of terrorism, regardless of any justification," Aboul Gheit said. Saudi Arabia will give the Palestinians $90 million in aid, Israel Radio reported. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa also denounced the bombing and rejected "targeting civilians on both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides." The Egyptian foreign minister called on both sides to adopt "immediate measures to prevent the situation from deteriorating further" and urged both parties to search a political settlement to the crisis. "The resumption of negotiations is the best solution for the Palestinian and the Israelis to live in peace and security." Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in a meeting with his party lawmakers on Tuesday, also warned against an escalation of violence and said Egypt had appealed to both Palestinians and Israelis to contain the situation. He promised to step-up Egypt's mediation efforts once newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had formed a coalition government - which could take several weeks - and when "the Palestinian government crystallizes its opinion about the peace process." Contradicting the Egyptian authorities' position, the state-controlled Al Gomhuria newspaper on Tuesday praised the Tel Aviv bombing as a "sacrificial and martyrdom attack." However, Egypt's largest state-controlled newspaper, Al-Ahram, said in an editorial that "the suicide attack is condemned by all means."