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Israel tries to calm crisis over Egyptian deaths

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Israel tries to calm crisis over Egyptian deaths


Israel, has tried to defuse tensions after a diplomatic crisis over the killing of five Egyptian policemen during an Israeli cross-border operation. Israeli troops had been in pursuit of a Palestinian faction which had killed eight people in southern Israel.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak has apologised for the Egyptian deaths.

“We highly appreciate the responsibility the Egyptian government is showing in dealing with the peace agreement and I expressed directly the Israeli regret at the loss of life of Egyptian security people,” said Ehud Barak.

Gaza militants have also agreed to a ceasefire after the crisis set off a round of Israeli airstrikes and rocket barrages from Gaza.

A Hamas official said the truce would go into effect shortly after the latest Israeli attack.

It is unclear if Egypt will now go ahead and withdraw its ambassador from Israel after the killings.

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