BEIRUT

Middle East

Saudi king urges 'wisdom' in Gaza, Israel clashes

Saudi King Abdullah condemns the latest bloodshed in Syria. (AFP/Getty Images Files)

RIYADH: Saudi King Abdullah has called for reason and wisdom during a telephone conversation with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in which he discussed the latest clashes between Gaza and Israel, state news agency SPA reported.

The monarch, whose country is a heavyweight in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, told Morsi "that things must calm down and reason and wisdom must reign over passionate reactions," SPA said late on Thursday.

The Egyptian president called King Abdullah on Thursday evening to discuss "bilateral relations and the situation in the region as well as developments in the Palestinian territories," it said.

Egypt's Islamist president -- who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood movement that gave birth to Hamas -- warned on Thursday that Egypt would not accept Israel's "aggression" in the Gaza Strip.

The escalating conflict, which has so far killed 18 Palestinians and three Israelis, has drawn expressions of deep concern internationally and sparked anger in the Arab and Muslim world.

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil crossed into Gaza Friday for a brief visit amid a massive Israeli military campaign against militants in the Hamas-run territory.

Shortly ahead of his arrival at the Rafah crossing, Israel said it would halt during his visit its aerial campaign against the Gaza Strip, which has angered Egypt and sent tensions soaring across a Middle East already shaken by Arab Spring uprisings and a civil war in Syria.

 

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