Top Egypt Official: Israel-Hamas Tensions Could Lead to Another Gaza War

A-Sharq al-Awsat: Egypt is reaching out to both Israel and Palestinian factions in bid to calm tension.

A senior Egyptian official said Egypt is concerned that the recent escalation of tensions on the Gaza border could lead to another Israeli invasion, the London-based Arabic language newspaper A-Sharq al-Awsat reported on Monday.

The official said Egypt was reaching out to both Israel and Palestinian factions in an effort to prevent the tensions from escalating any further.

At the end of last month, two IDF soldiers were killed near the border with Gaza while pursuing a group of Palestinian militants trying to plant explosives near the border fence. Two other soldiers were injured in the incident, and two Gaza militants were killed.

The situation in Gaza is extremely worrisome to Egypt, the official was reported to have said. He added that it was in Egypt's best interest for the situation in Gaza to remain stable.

Gaza rulers Hamas have largely held their fire since Israel's offensive in Gaza last winter, in which some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.

But smaller factions have violated the de facto truce by firing rockets and mortars into neighboring Israeli territory, including one that landed in Israel's Negev early Monday. No one was hurt in the incident.

Tensions have run high along the Gaza frontier this month and last, with Israel launching repeated air strikes in response to Palestinian rocket attacks.

Israel will retaliate against any attack on its citizens or soldiers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the death of the two IDF soldiers in Gaza clashes.