CAIRO, Egypt — Arab League foreign ministers will meet in Cairo later Monday to discuss Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip, aimed at countering rocket attacks.
With the Israeli campaign in its seventh day, at least 172 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,230 wounded.
There have not been any Israeli fatalities from some 1,000 rockets, with Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepting dozens of rockets heading into residential areas; 2 people died of heart attacks when sirens sounded, and several have been injured by missile shrapnel.
The Arab League meeting comes amid intense international efforts to end the conflict, and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas seeking UN intervention.
An Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement late on Sunday said Monday’s meeting, due to begin at 1900 GMT (10 p.m. Israel time), “is aimed at finding a solution to stop the shedding of Palestinian civilians’ blood and to formulate a common Arab stance on the issue.”
So far, efforts to broker a ceasefire have been unsuccessful, with Cairo taking a hands-off approach.
Egypt was key in mediating previous ceasefires, and brokered a truce between Israel and Hamas in November 2012 after a week of fighting
However, ties between Cairo and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement, have worsened since Egypt’s military ousted president Mohammed Morsi last July.
Morsi belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an affiliate. After removing Morsi, Egypt’s military-installed authorities designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
World leaders have been in contact with Egyptian officials, including President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, to discuss ways of ending the latest conflict.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.