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THE MIDEAST

Egypt's Brotherhood slams Israel over Gaza strikes

Egypt's powerful Muslim Brotherhood has sharply criticized Israel over its recent airstrikes that killed seven Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamist group said in a statement Tuesday that the Palestinian issue will always be a priority for Arabs and Muslims, despite those nations' mounting domestic issues. It also called on governments in the region "to stop the Zionist war" that it accused Israeli leaders of pursuing for political points ahead of January elections in Israel.

The latest violence began Saturday, with Israeli airstrikes and rocket attacks from Gaza militants. The violence subsided Tuesday morning.

Also, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, expressed his "full support" Tuesday for Palestinian plans to seek nonmember observer status at the U.N. during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.