Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Israel seizes Swedish activist ship en route to Gaza

Israel seizes Swedish activist ship en route to Gaza

The Hamas website Safa said Friday this marks the first time all members of the political bureau have come together in Gaza.

According to the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, the Egyptian-backed offer for a five-year truce with Israel would see a partial lifting of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the beleaguered enclave in exchange for an end to the Hamas-backed border violence and arson attacks.

The political bureau is discussing Egyptian proposals for a truce with Israel and the United Nations -led reconstruction of Gaza, said Ghazi Hamad, a Gaza-based official in the group.

Palestinian medics carry a wounded man during clashes with Israeli troops on the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, on August 3, 2018.

No details have been released about the length of the delegation's visit to the Strip.

"The ship was monitored and was intercepted in accordance with global law", the army said in a statement, before the vessel, named Freedom for Gaza and carrying 12 people, was taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Even as the meeting took place, an estimated 8,000 Gazans protested at the Israeli border and terrorists continued to send incendiary balloons into Israel on Saturday.

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Muadh al-Suri, 15, was shot in the stomach on Friday in central Gaza, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, raising the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire during those clashes to two, with over 200 wounded.

His return to Gaza has been interpreted in Israeli and Palestinian media as "relevant to negotiations through third parties for a long-term agreement between Hamas and Israel".

The deal would purportedly include the improvement of living conditions inside Gaza, in addition to a sea port and an airport in Egypt.

Activists have made several attempts to breach the blockade in recent years, most notably in 2010, when Israeli naval commandos killed nine Turks in a raid at sea.

Another boat was intercepted on Sunday.

Israel and Palestinian militants have fought three wars since 2008 in Gaza, an economically disadvantaged 365 square kilometer territory where more than two million Palestinians reside.

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