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Mubarak calls for self-restraint between Israel, Gaza militants
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22:07, December 25, 2008

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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday called on Israel and Gaza militants to show self-restraint and avoid any further military escalations, the MENA news agency reported.

Mubarak made the appeal during his meeting with visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Cairo on Thursday. The two sides discussed the current situation in the Gaza Strip and the clashes between Hamas and the Israeli army.

According to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, Mubarak also called for easing the humanitarian situation in the impoverished strip and bringing an end to the sufferings of the Palestinian people.

The situation in the Gaza Strip is clearly thorny and dangerous, Abul Gheit said, adding that Egypt wants self-restraint on the part of Israel and a stop of rocket fire into Israel to bring conditions back to their previous state.

A truce should be installed between the two sides and energy, food and other relief assistance should be allowed to reach the besieged Palestinians, he said.

The president warned against the mass-punishment measures adopted by the Israelis, the minister added.

At a joint press conference with Abul Gheit, Livni termed ties with Egypt as "important."

The Israeli minister said she discussed with Mubarak "openly and frankly" on the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip.

According to Livni, Hamas is to blame for the deteriorating Gaza Strip situation.

She said Hamas has been launching daily attacks on Israel, which constituted an obstacle on the road towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Israel recently tightened a crippling embargo it imposed on Gaza last year in an attempt to pressure Palestinian militants into giving up their rocket fire.

Israel has been shutting down Gaza border crossing points after a six-month truce brokered by Egypt between Israel and Gaza militant groups expired on Dec. 19.

Source: Xinhua

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