Monti urges Egypt's Morsi to call for Hamas-Israel ceasefire

'Morsi took up invitation' says Italian premier's office

Monti urges Egypt's Morsi to call for Hamas-Israel ceasefire

Rome, November 16 - Italian Premier Mario Monti urged Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to take on an active role in calling for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, according to a statement released Friday by the Italian leader's offices. The Egyptian leader "took up the invitation" made by Monti for an "active role in pursuing a rapid ceasefire agreement," the statement said. The premier's offices also said Morsi told Monti he was "certain Italy could play an important role in restarting the peace process". The fighting has been escalating with Israeli killing Hamas's military chief on Wednesday and Hamas continuously shooting missiles into the country. Public bomb shelters have reopened in Israeli cities for the first time since 1991, when Tel Aviv was targeted by Iraqi Scud missiles. Israel in recent hours has closed three roads close to the Gaza Strip and is seeking to call in 75,000 reserve soldiers in what some political analysts have called a prelude to a possible military build-up.

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