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Morsi calls leaders to discuss Gaza crisis

Nov. 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM  |  Updated Nov. 15, 2012 at 3:11 PM   |   Comments

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CAIRO, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called Thursday for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Morsi met Thursday with Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to discuss what the country's State Information Service described as "Israel's naked aggression on the Gaza Strip."

Conflict in the Middle East spilled into Thursday after Israeli airstrikes on Hamas-controlled Gaza killed Ahmed al-Jabari, commander of the Hamas military wing al-Qassam Brigades.

Hamas returned fire, launching dozens of rockets at southern Israel. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Israel "broke all red lines."

Morsi called for an emergency Security Council meeting, adding top Arab foreign ministers needed to convene "to discuss the repercussions of the Israeli attacks."

Morsi spoke Wednesday with U.S. President Barack Obama about violence in Gaza. Obama reminded Morsi of Israel's right to self-defense, adding the Egyptian government had a "central role" to play in preserving regional security.

Morsi this week recalled Egypt's ambassador to Israel Atef Salem in response to the conflict.

Morsi has offered assurances that his government would honor a peace agreement with Israel brokered in 1979. The Camp David Accords, named after the U.S. presidential retreat in Maryland, limit the number of troops Egypt can deploy in the Sinai Peninsula.

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The parents of 11 month-old Palestinian baby Ahmed Masharawi, killed in an Israeli strike, hold his body during his funeral in Gaza City, Thursday, November. 15, 2012. The violence sparked a furious response from Egypt's Islamist administration, which has close ties with Gaza's ruling Hamas movement, with Cairo recalling its ambassador in protest at Israel's killing of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jaabari. UPI/Ismael MohamadA Palestinian shouts in front of what witnesses said are destroyed tunnels after an Israeli air strike in the border of southern Gaza Strip November 21, 2012. Fighting raged on both sides of Gaza's borders Wednesday despite intensified efforts across the region to thrash out a truce to end a week of violence. UPI/Ismael Mohamad
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