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US senator blasts Egypt's 'weak' effort on Gaza

Published on Nov 19, 2012 6:45 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Senior US Senator Carl Levin criticised Egypt's "weak" efforts on Sunday to pressure its ally Hamas to reduce tensions in the bloody conflict between Gaza's Islamist rulers and their enemy Israel.

"It's pretty weak so far from what I can tell. The Egyptians have a real interest here in the region not exploding and the peace agreement continuing to be abided by," said Mr Levin, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"They're going to have to take some very serious steps diplomatically to make it clear to Hamas that they're going to lose support in the Arab world if they continue these rocket attacks on Israel," he told ABC's This Week. Egypt was mediating talks between Hamas and Israel to broker a ceasefire to the conflict that had claimed 64 Palestinian lives in nearly 100 hours of Israeli air raids, and seen three Israelis killed by rockets fired from Gaza.

Washington has urged both Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to press Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel.

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