Israeli envoy in Egypt for cease-fire talks

6:14 PM, Nov 18, 2012   |    comments
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CAIRO (AP) - Egyptian security officials say a senior Israeli official has arrived in Cairo for talks on reaching a cease-fire to end an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The officials said the official arrived at Cairo's airport and was immediately rushed away from the tarmac into talks. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity under security guidelines, did not identify the Israeli.

Israeli officials declined comment.

Egypt has been leading international efforts to broker a truce to end five days of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

Nabil Shaath, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who was in Cairo, confirmed the Israeli's arrival. He says there are "serious attempts to reach a cease-fire." 

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is cautioning against an incursion by Israel's forces into the Gaza Strip. At a news conference in Thailand, Obama defended the Jewish state's right to defend itself, but said sending in ground troops would likely lead to more Israeli casualties.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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