BEIRUT

Middle East

Arab League: Israel 'blocking' Gaza peace efforts

Saeb Erekat (L) Chief Palestinian negotiator, listens to Nabil al-Arabi (C), secretary general of the League of Arab states speaking during an emergency meeting at the Arab League headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo August 11, 2014. (AFP Photo/Mohammad el-Shahed)

CAIRO: Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby accused Israel Wednesday of "blocking" all attempts to end the Gaza conflict, a day after the collapse of a cease-fire in the Palestinian territory.

"Israel is blocking any kind of agreement leading to calm" in the Gaza Strip, Elaraby told journalists.

"The Arab League wants to reach a permanent truce as soon as possible," he said before flying off to Geneva for a meeting with the International Committee of the Red Cross to demand protection of Palestinian civilians.

Eight days of calm under an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire exploded into violence late Tuesday as Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza in retaliation for cross-border rocket attacks.

More than 2,030 Palestinians have been killed and 67 people have died on the Israeli side since July 8 when the conflict erupted.

 

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