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Arab League Holds Emergency Meeting on Gaza


The Arab League is holding an emergency meeting in Egypt to discuss Israel's military campaign against Hamas, which has killed nearly 400 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The group's secretary-general, Amr Moussa urged the Palestinians to raise the issue with the United Nations Security Council.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, also told the meeting in Cairo Wednesday that a solution to the conflict would not be achieved until the rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, reconcile.

Other world powers, including the United States, are appealing for an immediate cease-fire.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will visit Syria and Jordan Wednesday to discuss the conflict.

And in Tokyo, Japanese officials say Prime Minister Taro Aso appealed to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert by phone Wednesday to stop the bombings.

Israel says the offensive is aimed at stopping Hamas rocket attacks.

On Tuesday, the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union called for Hamas and Israel to immediately stop their attacks.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has invited Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to discuss the conflict in Paris Thursday.

Anger toward the Israeli offensive in Gaza has triggered protests throughout the world.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated outside the U.S. State Department in Washington on Tuesday. In Iran, protesters briefly stormed the British embassy compound in Tehran, pulling down a British flag and hoisting the Palestinian flag.

And in Yemen, security forces removed protesters who vandalized the Egyptian consulate in Aden. Egypt has been the target of protests throughout the Arab world because of its ties to Israel.

Egypt said Wednesday that it has canceled official celebrations of the New Year in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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