Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi called Thursday for an immediate ceasefire amid intensifying efforts to end Hamas’s rocket fire at Israeli territory and the IDF’s military offensive on the Gaza Strip, Ahram Arabic news website reported.
Abbas and Sissi issued a joint statement on the matter after a meeting in Cairo on Thursday afternoon.
The talks came hours before Israel launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip aimed at destroying Hamas’s terror infrastructure, significantly widening the 10-day campaign.
More than 230 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza terrorists, medics say. One Israeli died in cross-border rocket fire.
Cairo has once again become a diplomatic hub to end the fighting in Gaza after Egypt initially proposed a failed truce without consulting Hamas.
Abbas met in Cairo on Wednesday Hamas deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk who insisted on changes to the Egyptian truce plan including guarantees on opening border crossings to the besieged Gaza Strip.
The initiative called for a return to an Egyptian-brokered 2012 ceasefire that ended eight days of fighting, and loosened border restrictions on goods for the blockaded coastal enclave.
Israel initially accepted the Egyptian initiative but Hamas rejected the plan, saying it had not been consulted.