Smoke trails are seen after missiles were fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza City towards southern Israel July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
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Egypt urged Israel and the Hamas Wednesday to halt their escalating conflict but played down hopes of a Cairo-mediated truce.Egypt, which has a 1979 peace treaty with Israel, played a key role in mediating ceasefires in past wars between Hamas and the Jewish state.During that conflict, now deposed Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi condemned "Israeli aggression" and sent his prime minister to Gaza in a show of support for the Palestinians.Morsi brokered a truce seen as favorable to Hamas, which is linked to his Muslim Brotherhood movement.
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