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Egypt: Israel bears consequences for military operations

Egypt said it holds the Israeli authorities responsible for any consequences that may result from the military operations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip following the disappearance of three settlers last week.

In a statement released today the Egyptian Foreign Ministry renewed its condemnation of the operations and expressed deep concern about the repercussions of its continuity, affirming its full support for the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership and its earnest will to reduce the ongoing deterioration in any way so that they can work to achieve the basic requirements of the Palestinian people.

The Ministry said that "the expansion of the scope of military operations may lead to further losses and injuries among the Palestinians, especially the bombing and the demolitions of homes, prosecutions and arrests, which increases the fragility of security and stability, which will increase confrontations and violence, and hinder efforts by the national PA to stabilise the security situation."

The Ministry called upon the Israeli authorities to comply with utmost restraint and to prevent the deterioration of the situation using unjustified and uncontrollable measures.

The Israeli army announced today its arrest of 30 Palestinians overnight in the West Bank, bringing the number of Palestinians who have been arrested during the past seven days to 280, according to the army.

Last Monday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry demanded that Israel "exercises maximum restraint, and does not continue in its escalation of the situation" in the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli army has been waging a wide campaign of arrests and raids in the West Bank in the week after the disappearance of three Israeli settlers in Hebron. In parallel with the arrests, the Israeli army has launched air strikes on Gaza and carried out several incursions in the besieged Gaza Strip.

No Palestinian movement has claimed responsibility for the abduction of the settlers, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he holds Hamas responsible. The movement rejected the accusation.


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