News / Middle East

Egypt's Morsi: Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza 'Unacceptable'

An Egyptian woman waves the Palestinian flag in solidarity with Gaza during a protest against Israel's military operation in the region, in Cairo, Egypt, November 15, 2012.An Egyptian woman waves the Palestinian flag in solidarity with Gaza during a protest against Israel's military operation in the region, in Cairo, Egypt, November 15, 2012.
x
An Egyptian woman waves the Palestinian flag in solidarity with Gaza during a protest against Israel's military operation in the region, in Cairo, Egypt, November 15, 2012.
An Egyptian woman waves the Palestinian flag in solidarity with Gaza during a protest against Israel's military operation in the region, in Cairo, Egypt, November 15, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said in a televised address to the nation on Thursday that Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip are "unacceptable" and would lead to instability in the region.

There was little public reaction in Egypt Thursday to Israel's military operation in Gaza, as businesses and public institutions were closed for an Islamic holiday.

Overnight, a small crowd gathered near the Egyptian foreign ministry, demanding that Cairo cut diplomatic ties with Israel. Israel's ambassador to Egypt left the country Wednesday night, but Israeli officials say that the embassy remains "open for business."

Who is Ahmed al-Jaabari?

  • Headed Hamas' military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades
  • Most senior Hamas official killed in Gaza since Israel's offensive four years ago
  • Was at the top of Israel's most-wanted list
  • Israel held him responsible for all attacks from Gaza in the last decade
  • Israel blamed him for kidnapping of soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006
Egyptian officials later announced that Cairo was withdrawing its ambassador to Israel. Arab media say this is the third time Egypt has withdrawn its ambassador since the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

A handful of Egyptian political leaders condemned the Israeli military action. Morsi said in his speech that he had urged U.S. President Barack Obama to help put an end to the Israeli operation.

He said he spoke to President Obama just before dawn about how to stop what he called Israel's aggression and how to achieve peace and security in the region by preventing acts that cause bloodshed.

A number of Egyptian Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, are calling for a "million man" demonstration on Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square. But some observers doubt that large crowds will turn out.

Gaza City, GazaGaza City, Gaza
x
Gaza City, Gaza
Gaza City, Gaza
Said Sadek, who teaches political sociology at the American University in Cairo, said Egyptian society is divided over so many issues that he does not foresee a strong response.

"What we are seeing today is just rhetorical war, some diplomatic gestures here and there, but it doesn't lead to anything. Some of the opposition forces, especially the Islamists, are seizing what happened in Gaza to settle scores in the domestic conflict in the country," said Sadek. "People are very much divided, so even calls that there will be a demonstration in Tahrir Square tomorrow... I don't think it will get a million [demonstrators]."

Sadek said many Egyptians have used social media to criticize the government's strong response to the Gaza operation. He points out that some are angry that the government barely reacted to another recent incident where Hamas or its sympathizers allegedly killed 20 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai.

Arab League foreign ministers are due to meet Saturday in Cairo to discuss the Israeli military operation in Gaza. The ministers met several days ago with their European Union counterparts in the Egyptian capital to discuss both the crisis in Syria and a Palestinian request to join the United Nations.

  • Smoke rises following an Israeli attack on Gaza City, Nov. 15, 2012.
  • Damage is shown to the top of a building in Kiriat Malakhi, November 15, 2012. (VOA - L. Fridmam)
  • A Zaka volunteer cleans blood stains from an apartment in a building that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, where three people were killed in Kiryat Malachi, southern Israel, Kiryat Malachi, southern Israel, November 15, 2012.
  • Zaka volunteers clean blood stains from a pillow and a baby toy in a children's room in apartment building that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, where three people were killed in Kiryat Malachi, southern Israel, Kiryat Malachi, southern Isra
  • Palestinian women react during the funeral of Hisham Al Galban, a Hamas militant killed in an Israeli attack, in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, November 15, 2012.
  • A Palestinian demonstrator runs through a cloud of tear gas during clashes against Israel's operations in Gaza Strip, outside Ofer, an Israeli military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 15, 2012.
  • A Palestinian boy holds a window pane taken from a damaged house hit in an Israeli strike, in Gaza City, November 15, 2012.s
  • Israelis take cover as a siren warning of an incoming rocket sounds in Kiryat Malachi, southern Israel, Thursday, November 15, 2012.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ali baba from: new york
November 16, 2012 3:06 AM
the main reason for that conflict is suporting hamas in secret .it is a person who is playing with fire. that person is morsi . his islamic ideolgy about wiping isreal from the map is behind that conflict which innocent civilan were killed


by: Abi from: Sydney, Australia
November 15, 2012 10:48 PM
One must wonder why the Islamists did not call for one million Egyptians to protest against the killing of 20 innocent Egyptians!! I am sure that Israel will never allow the Jihadist to kill its citizens without punishing them!! Well done Israel for protecting your people!!


by: Laura Brown from: USA
November 15, 2012 10:16 PM
Unacceptable...??? I tell you what is unacceptable... our subsidizing the Egyptian nest of Islamic lepers... now that is unacceptable!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid