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Egypt hopes to avoid Israel-Hamas escalation

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Egypt hopes to avoid Israel-Hamas escalation

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Egypt says it is committed to brokering a new truce between Israel and the Hamas rulers of Gaza. The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, telling him Israel will not put up with Hamas militants’ rocket fire into southern Israel:

“Hamas violated the truce, decided to target Israel and attack Israelis,” she said. “We are going to do what a state needs to do to defend its citizens.” The Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit is mediating between the two sides: “Egypt will be in touch with both parties, the Israeli military as well as the Palestinians in Hamas, in order to bring them to both restrain their actions for the immediate coming few days,” he said. Livni’s talks with Mubarak followed a day when more than 80 rockets and mortars were fired at southern Israel and an Israeli air strike killed a Hamas militant. Hamas has said Israel had broken its side of an agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza and allow in food and medical supplies. The outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said anyone who hurt Israelis would pay a high price.