CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah-al Sisi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged on the necessity of an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for stemming Palestinian bloodshed, to be based on the Egyptian ceasefire initiative.
After the meeting held at Itihadeya’s presidential palace in Heliopolis Thursday, they released a joint statement emphasizing on the importance of easing Palestinian suffering by opening Israeli crossings to the strip and not target civilians, according to the presidency.
Egypt’s ceasefire initiative was announced Monday, but it was rejected by Hamas which said it had not been officially notified despite Israel accepting Egypt’s proposal.
Abbas arrived in Egypt Tuesday for a long-visit to address the latest developments of the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip. He is scheduled to leave Cairo heading to Turkey on July 18.
The strip has been under Israeli shelling for 10 days, causing the death of 240 Palestinians including children and the injury of 1770 most of which are civilians while only one death was reported on the Israeli side.
Israel says it has carried out more than 1,960 attacks on Gaza since the beginning of Protective Edge Operations on July 8, while Hamas has fired some 1,380 rockets at Israel, according to BBC World News.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has announced on Thursday evening a ground invasion into Gaza strip.
This comes after Israel’s earlier declaration of a six-hour truce originally proposed by the UN on Wednesday; Israeli Army had agreed to a ceasefire Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., said Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri on his official Facebook account Thursday.
The IDF’s spokesman Moti Almoz said in a press conference aired by Sky News Arabia on Thursday that they are targeting through the invasion Hamas’s spots, adding “our troops are doing a great and wonderful job.”
The latest Israeli raids on Gaza began July 1, a day after Israeli authorities found the bodies of three kidnapped settlers in the West Bank. The body of Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, was later found mutilated and burned, in what was widely interpreted as an act of revenge for the death of the Israelis. However, the Israeli military said it attacked 34 targets in Gaza, mostly belonging to Hamas, claiming that it did not link the strikes to the abductions, Reuters reported. Hamas started launching rockets into Israel in its latest campaign on July 4, the Jerusalem Post reported.