Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Israeli Navy Attacks Palestinian Fishing Boats In Northern Gaza

 Israeli Navy Attacks Palestinian Fishing Boats In Northern Gaza

Palestinian protesters gather as tear gas canisters are launched by Israeli forces during a demonstration along the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, east of Gaza city on August 3, 2018.

This offer would be the focus of Sunday's deliberations, the official said, adding that any eventual broader agreement over Gaza would require a guarantee for the return of the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 Israel-Hamas war, and two civilians lost in Gaza.

Asked about Cairo's role in the truce talks, Zeev Elkin, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet and Likud party, said Egyptian security needs meant the Arab power "understands that it can not shrug off Gaza". In response to the protests, Israel on July 9 tightened the blockade by shuttering Gaza's main commercial terminal and limiting a Palestinian fishing zone off the enclave.

According to one Egyptian official, the Foreign Ministry in Cairo instructed its diplomats in a June 10 cable to emphasize that Egypt would not budge from its position that Israel is the country with exclusive, ultimate responsibility for Gaza.

Asked if Elkin's comments reflected Netanyahu government policy, an Israeli official close to the prime minister declined comment.

He writes: "We are continuing intensive work to build land and sea obstacles around Gaza".

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army fire.

Without directly addressing Hamas, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later released a statement cautioning "against the willingness of some to the American and Israeli plans which are aimed at turning the Palestinian issue from the cause of a people seeking freedom and independence and establishing their independent state into a humanitarian cause". A spokesman said any deal risked ending hopes of achieving Palestinian statehood.

Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas have fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

The reports of a possible ceasefire came as the IDF said Palestinians protesting along the border breached the border fence and hurled firebombs.

With borders to both Egypt and Israel largely sealed in recent years, Gaza suffers from desperately high rates of poverty and unemployment.

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