Arafat Heads to Cairo
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat left Gaza City on Wednesday for talks in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, officials said.
The trip comes a day after Egypt decided to withdraw its ambassador from Israel in protest at Israeli air and naval attacks against Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip.
Israel launched the raids late Monday in retaliation for a bomb attack on an Jewish settlers' school bus in Gaza that left two people dead and nine, mostly children, wounded.
Egypt's ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Bassiouni, was due to return home Wednesday.
Arafat's Palestinian Authority hailed Cairo's move. Israel, however, expressed regret, noting that Egypt -- the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel -- played a key role in the Middle East peace process.
Arafat had been due to travel to Cairo on Tuesday, but postponed the trip by a day following the Israeli raids.
He and Mubarak meet regularly for consultations on the peace process with Israel which has been left in tatters by seven weeks of clashes between Israelis and Palestinians -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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