Egypt in talks with Israelis, Palestinians as fighting escalates

Egypt said Saturday it is engaged in intensive talks with Israel and Palestinians to restore calm following a stunning Hamas attack that led to retaliatory airstrikes by the Israelis. The Egyptian Presidency said President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi received a telephone call from his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, to discuss efforts to end the escalation. Egypt is 'conducting intensive contacts with Israeli, Palestinian sides and regional and international stakeholders to contain the current escalation,' according to a statement that did not provide further details. Sisi warned about dragging the region into a vicious circle of tension and threatening regional stability and security, it said. Egypt urged Palestinians and Israel to exercise self-restraint and avoid exposing civilians to further risks. At least 300 Israelis were killed and more than 1,500 injured when Hamas fired thousands of rockets and sent dozens of fighters into Israel near the Gaza Strip early Saturday, according to the Israeli Health Ministry. Israel retaliated with airstrikes in Gaza, killing more than 230 Palestinians and injuring hundreds, said the Palestinian Health Ministry. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is 'at war' with Hamas and later urged civilians in Gaza to leave as the Israeli military is going to turn "all Hamas hiding places into rubble."

Source: Philippines News Agency