BEIRUT

Middle East

Egypt hits out over Israeli 'mass punishment' in Gaza

Black smoke rises in the background as Palestinians search for bodies under the rubble of the Ghanam family home after it was targeted in an Israeli air raid on Rafah, in the southern of Gaza strip , on July 11, 2014. (AFP/Said Khatib)

CAIRO: Egypt hit out at Israel Friday for killing civilians in Gaza with "oppressive policies of mass punishment," while urging the international community to act quickly to end the conflict.

Israel's aerial military campaign targeting rocket-firing Islamist militants in Gaza has killed around 95 Palestinians and wounded more than 500 since it was launched early Tuesday.

" Egypt rejects the irresponsible Israeli escalation in the occupied Palestinian territory, which comes in the form of excessive and unnecessary use of military force leading to the death of innocent civilians," the Foreign Ministry said.

"This represents a continuation of the oppressive policies of mass punishment."

The ministry statement also appealed to the international community to quickly interfere to end the violence and said the two sides must adhere to a truce that ended their 2012 conflict.

The continuing escalation of the conflict would not "create the suitable climate ... for future negotiations to peacefully settle" the issue, the ministry added.

Egypt, which has a peace treaty with Israel, helped to broker the 2012 truce between the Jewish state and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

But the government of newly elected Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has so far only responded to the Gaza conflict by demanding both sides stop the violence.

 

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