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Egyptian Foreign Minister sends Israel strongly-worded message about Gaza

Diplomatic sources inside Egypt's Foreign Ministry have reported that the country's Foreign Minister has sent a strongly-worded letter to Rafi Barak, the Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, warning him about the consequences of the escalation of military action against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Dr Nabil El-Araby pressed Barak on the necessity of maintaining the ceasefire with the Palestinians, "as any military action against Gaza will have serious repercussions on the region as a whole". El-Araby criticised Israeli policy, particularly the military's, which threatens an attack against Gaza in a sequel to Operation Cast lead.

According to the sources, Dr El-Araby also criticised statements made by Amos Gilad, head of the security and political sector of Israel's Ministry of Defence, which threaten to end the peace treaty with Cairo, as well as his comments that peace with Egypt "would not last". El-Araby said that this was an indication that "Israeli policy toward the Palestinians and the continuing escalation of military action is what will undermine the peace process as a whole". He confirmed that Egypt's policy remains the rejection and condemnation of the targeting of civilians.

When El-Araby met with Barak, an official spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Egypt would honour all its treaty and contractual obligations. The spokesman added that the situation in Gaza was discussed during the meeting. Dr El-Araby reiterated Egypt's belief in the necessity of taking into consideration the humanitarian situation as well as Israel's obligatory responsibilities as an occupying power.

Source: Cairo – Palestinian Information Centre

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