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Iran Press TV

Abbas urges end to Israel war on Gaza

Iran Press TV

Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:52AM GMT

The president of the Palestinian national unity government, Mahmoud Abbas, has called on Israel to halt its deadly ground invasion of the blockaded Gaza Strip.

"Israel must stop its ground operation in the Gaza Strip," Egypt's official MENA news agency quoted Abbas as saying as he addressed a group of Egyptian intellectuals and journalists in the capital, Cairo, on Friday.

"This operation would only lead to more bloodshed and complicate the situation and efforts to stop the (Israeli) aggression," he added.

The comments came hours after Israeli forces launched a ground offensive against the coastal enclave on Thursday, following days of air and sea-based strikes.

The violence has so far claimed the lives of more than 260 people in the besieged sliver, including over 20 Palestinians who are said to have been killed since Israel kicked off its ground offensive.

On Thursday, Abbas met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi amid diplomatic efforts to end the conflict between Israel and Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas.

In a statement issued on the same day, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum described the start of the Israeli ground attack on Gaza as "a dangerous step, the consequences of which have not been calculated."

He added that Tel Aviv would pay a "high price" as the resistance movement is prepared for the confrontation.

Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal has also said that the invasion of the Gaza Strip is "bound to fail."

MR/HJL



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