ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2018


Israeli MK: 'Hamas Wants Quiet in Gaza, We Want The Same'

09 August 2018, 08:27 | Erica Roy

Israeli ships at military port of Ashdod. — AFP

Israeli ships at military port of Ashdod. — AFP

The Israeli navy intercepted a Swedish-flagged activist boat bent on breaching its more than decade-long blockade of Gaza, the second in less than a week, the military said on Saturday.

Hamas has linked their fate to Israel freeing Palestinian security detainees - something many Israelis oppose.

Hamas officials had no immediate comment on the ship's seizure.

According to the Gaza health ministry, 157 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the "March of Return" protests on March 30.

Israel's Security Cabinet discussed the pros and cons of a deal with Hamas for several hours, but the Times of Israel reports they didn't reach a conclusion and did not conduct a vote.

In a statement, a military spokesperson said the airstrike targeted a squad "that was launching arson balloons from the northern Gaza Strip into Israel".


The Israeli statement came hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his security cabinet to discuss, and possibly approve United Nations - and Egyptian-brokered ideas for preventing another threatened Gaza war.

Hamas, meanwhile, is desperate to end the blockade, which has made it increasingly hard for the group to govern and has led to growing hardships in Gaza.

An unnamed Israeli official said Sunday that there might be talks focusing on a proposal to ease the blockade of Gaza if the Palestinians calm their side of the fence that separates the occupied territories from the blockaded coastal sliver.

An Israeli Cabinet minister says a cease-fire deal with Hamas now being discussed involves easing some restrictions on Gaza.

"(A deal would bring about a) separation of Gaza from the rest of the homeland and would create a mini-state which will be the graveyard of our national project", said Munir Al-Ghaghoub, a spokesman for Abbas's Fatah movement.

Al-Ayyam said that according to emails obtained by the US-based Foreign Policy journal, Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, seeks to push to close UNRWA and end the Palestinian refugee status. Two other IDF soldiers also died in the incident. Twenty-four of slain protesters were minors, the ministry has said.



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