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An Israeli shell hits Gaza City on Friday
Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour has accused Israel of timing the attack on Gaza in order to "torpedo" Palestine's UN bid and influence the upcoming Israeli election in January. Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil arrived in Gaza City on Friday after Israel agreed to a truce during his brief visit.
Israeli leaders are “dead afraid” of a successful bid, he argued.
Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor replied that the Palestinians are aiming for recognition of a state which includes Gaza and so Hamas, the Islamic party that controls the territory, is undermining the bid.
Israel used a hastily convened meeting of the UN Security Council to warn that a Palestinian bid for statehood could lead to more violence on the ground.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has cut short a tour of Europe and will convene an urgent meeting of the Arab League on Saturday to discuss the crisis.