Egypt intervenes to end Hamas-Israel tensions in Gaza

Egypt’s ambassador to the West Bank said Wednesday his country is making strenuous efforts to restore calm to the Gaza Strip, seeking to end Israeli assaults on the Palestinian enclave and to stop Palestinian responses to the attacks.

Egypt’s main aim is to ensure Palestinians’ safety and prevent the situation from deteriorating further, Yasser Othman told state-run news agency MENA.

The Israeli army said Wednesday its aircrafts had carried out seven air raids on the strip late Tuesday in response to 50 rockets fired on Israel from southern Gaza.

AFP quoted an army spokesperson as saying that the raids were aimed at terrorist targets, but did not give further details on those targets.

The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli attacks, which had continued for three days, increased to seven as a young girl died late Tuesday, while three other members of her family were wounded in an Israeli bombing that targeted their house in Zeitoun, east of Gaza.

Ramallah-based newspaper Al-Quds on Wednesday quoted informed Palestinian sources as saying that contacts were being made between the Hamas government in Gaza and other parties — including Egypt — to restore calm to Gaza, but to no avail.

Hamas described on Monday the Israeli escalation against Gaza as a violation of the points of understanding previously achieved with Palestinian resistance groups, which involved ceasing assassinations of militant resistance cadres.

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