Egypt's intelligence chief delays Israel visit
(dpa) - Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman has delayed a planned visit to Israel for the third time because of Tel Aviv's not abiding by commitments to de-escalate the situation in the Gaza Strip, a newspaper report said Tuesday.
The Saudi-owned al-Sharq al-Awsat daily quoted a senior Egyptian official as saying Suleiman postponed his visit, which was slated for this week, because of "Israel's continued aggression."
Suleiman oversees Egyptian mediation efforts between Israel and the militant Hamas group.
The official told the paper that Israel was not aiding by a commitment it made to reduce tension in the Gaza Strip.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Israel breached its pledges by killing members of the Islamic Jihad militant group, breaking the relative state of calm in the Gaza Strip.
Israel's move undermined Egyptian intensive efforts to get Palestinian groups to stop rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip aimed at Israeli towns, the official said.
A new date for Suleiman's visit was expected to be set in three weeks' time, according to the paper.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted other Egyptian sources as saying Cairo has drawn up after talks with Israelis and Palestinians a plan for de-escalation in the territory.
Under the Egyptian proposals, Israel is to halt its military operations and killing of members of Palestinian militant groups in the territory and gradually end its blockade there.
In return, the militant Hamas group, which runs Gaza, would halt its rocket attacks on Israel.
The sources said Cairo's mediation efforts were conditional on goodwill moves that Israel should undertake, including restoring fuel supplies to Gaza and allowing the reopening of the Egypt-Gaza border.