Mubarak Invites Livni to Cairo

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo Thursday to discuss extending the six-month temporary cease-fire with Hamas, which ended Friday.

Last Thursday evening, Hamas officials announced that they would not renew the cease-fire.

Monday, they announced a 24-hour suspension of hostilities, though Palestinians fired four Kassam rockets on Israeli communities on Tuesday. No personal injuries or property damaged were reported in Tuesday's attacks.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in Turkey to advance his third-party negotiations with Syria, approved the foreign minister's trip to Cairo.

Some analysts believe that Mubarak's invitation is meant to affirm Egypt's backing of Livni's candidacy in the upcoming national elections, scheduled for February 10. They say this is why she was invited in place of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who has been a staunch supporter of the cease-fire.

Hamas officials confirmed that the one-day cessation of hostilities was initiated at Egypt's request so Israel would open the Kerem Shalom border crossing to transfer aid from Egypt to the Gaza Strip.

Israeli officials said the incident shows that Hamas will listen to Egypt when it suits them.

A Hamas spokesman said rocket fire would be resumed as soon as the shipment arrived in Gaza, Israel Radio reported.

Hamas wrested control of the Gaza Strip from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction in a bloody military coup in June 2007. 

Source: Haaretz

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