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Israel Offers Egypt Quake Aid

Israel has offered Egypt assistance in the wake of an earthquake near Cairo on Monday that left over 400 dead and thousands more camped along the highway in fear of further tremors.

The offer of “any assistance which the Egyptian government deems necessary” was conveyed publicly by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in a message of sympathy to the Egyptian people, and through diplomatic channels in Cairo and Tel Aviv.

The Israel Defense Force has acquired expertise in mass rescue operations amid urban ruins, Israeli diplomats noted.

Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Dubek said Tuesday that the Egyptian authorities responded “with warm thanks” to Israel’s offer, but he doubted they would take it up.

Peres expressed the “deep sorrow” of the Israeli people at the human toll of the earthquake. Many Israelis, especially in the south of the country, felt the tremor that shook Cairo.