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Egypt Recalls Its Ambassador To Israel, Over Gaza Airstrikes

The Egyptian president has recalled his ambassador to Israel in protest of Israel's airstrikes on the Gaza Strip today, his spokesman said on state television. The strikes have killed at least 10 people including the commander of the military wing of Hamas.

Reporting from Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report to our Newscast unit:

"President Mohammed Morsi has also called for an emergency meeting of the Arab Leage and ordered Egypt's representative at the United Nations to call for a meeting of the Security Council.

"Egypt was the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel. It has withdrawn its ambassador once before during the second Palestinian Intifada under Hosni Mubarak's rule.

"The elected Islamist leader now in power has vowed to take a tougher stance when it comes to Israel. And the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing warned that after a wave of revolutions the Arab world has changed and Egypt will no longer allow 'Palestinians to be subjected to Israeli aggression.'

"Israel says the airstrikes are aimed at stopping rocket attacks by Hamas."

As this story broke, rumors swirled that Israel's ambassador to Israel had left the country. But, citing an Israeli diplomat, Reuters reports that the Israeli embassy in Cairo is operating as normal.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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