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Arab League to hold meeting on Gaza

Nov. 14, 2012 9:54 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 15, 2012 3:43 A.M.)
CAIRO (Reuters) -- Arab foreign ministers will meet on Saturday at the Cairo-based Arab League to discuss the Israeli attack on Gaza, Deputy Arab League chief Ahmed Ben Helli told Reuters.

"The Arab League called on Arab foreign ministers to hold a meeting in Cairo this Saturday to investigate the Israeli assault on Gaza strip," Ben Helli told Reuters.

Israel launched a major offensive on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing the military commander of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would "open the gates of hell".

Abbas earlier on Wednesday called for an emergency Arab League meeting over the Israeli strikes on Gaza, according to a League statement that quoted the Palestinian representative in the League, Barakat al-Fara.

Egypt's President Mohammad Mursi also called for an "emergency meeting for Arab foreign ministers," according to presidential spokesman Yasser Ali in a statement aired on state TV.

Mursi, who had repeatedly pledged to honor the 1979 peace agreement with Israel, condemned the raids on Gaza as a threat to regional security and withdrew his ambassador from Israel. He also summoned the Israeli envoy to Cairo to deliver a protest and called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

Mursi who hails from Egypt's popular Muslim Brotherhood group, has since his election last June strengthened the relationship between Egypt and Hamas, the political front of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood.

The political wing of Egypt's Brotherhood, the Freedom and Justice Party had earlier issued a strong condemnation statement on the Israeli attack on Gaza.
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