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Egypt’s Sisi pledges to seek Gaza ‘ceasefire’

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, a major opponent of the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement, has pledged to seek a “ceasefire” in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Speaking to President of the Palestinian National Unity Government Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, Sisi said that Egypt seeks “to halt escalations and works to reach a ceasefire at soon as possible,” Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

This is while Sisi, a former army chief, has led the destruction of supply tunnels to Gaza near Egypt’s Rafah border in line with Israeli interests, depriving the Palestinians living in the impoverished enclave of access to basic consumer goods.

Sisi has accused Hamas of backing Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the military then led by Sisi, and his Muslim Brotherhood organization.

During the Tuesday telephone conversation, Abbas reportedly discussed ways of halting the latest Israeli aggression against the besieged enclave and underlined the need to abide by a 2012 ceasefire between the Palestinian factions and the Tel Aviv regime.

In 2012, Egypt brokered a ceasefire between the Palestinians and the Israeli regime, under which the latter halted an eight-day offensive on Gaza, which left scores of Palestinians dead.

At least 28 Palestinians were killed and over 200 others were injured in the recent Israeli attacks on Tuesday. The deadliest strike of the day took place when a missile hit a house in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis, leaving eight people dead, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Palestinian resistance movements in the besieged Gaza Strip have responded to Israel’s aggression by targeting towns and cities deep inside the occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli military said on Tuesday that 130 rockets were fired from Gaza, with 70 hitting different sites.

Tensions heightened between Palestinians and Israelis after the burning alive of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teen, in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) last week. Abu Khdeir’s death came after Israel found the dead bodies of three settlers, whose deaths it blames on Hamas. The resistance movement rejects the allegation.

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