Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Friday Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza in as a “blatant aggression against humanity,” the official MENA news agency said.
“Egypt will not leave Gaza on its own, and what is happening is a blatant aggression against humanity,” he said, as his prime minister, Hisham Qandil, visited Gaza vowing to boost efforts to secure a truce to end the bloodletting.
Earlier on Friday, Qandil told reporters in Gaza, “Egypt will not hesitate to intensify its efforts and make sacrifices to stop this aggression and achieve a lasting truce,” according to AFP.
He spoke after visiting casualties in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital from Israel’s Pillar of Defense counter-terror campaign.
On Friday morning, there were reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had agreed to halt the military operation on terror sites in Gaza during Qandil’s visit.
An official said that Egypt requested the ceasefire and that the visit is supposed to last three hours.
However, while Israel stopped firing during Qandil’s visit, Hamas terrorists continued to fire rockets at Israel.
Friday’s rocket barrages continued to hit southern Israel but also were directed at Tel Aviv, for the second time in two days, and also at Jerusalem.
Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, which began with the targeted killing of top Hamas terrorist Ahmed Jaabari on Wednesday, sparked a furious response from Morsi, who promptly recalled Cairo’s envoy to the Jewish state.