Two hurt as Israel hits Gaza targets over ‘arson balloons’

Lamar Ellis
August 9, 2018

The "Hamas" leadership is working on a "progressive" agreement with Israel on ending marches organized at the border with the Gaza Strip and on the cessation of hostilities between Israel and the movement, including incendiary balloons in exchange for lifting the latest economic blockade imposed on the enclave.

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". Now the leaders were waiting for an Israeli response after the cabinet meets Sunday, the TV report said.

United Nations and Egyptian-led efforts are under way to mediate a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas who have fought three wars since 2008.Hamas officials had no immediate comment on the ship´s seizure.

Avigdor Lieberman's Twitter post came Sunday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly convened his Security Cabinet to discuss an Egyptian brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Over the past four months, 158 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including at least 120 in the protests near the fence and others in Israeli air strikes and other incidents elsewhere in Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry and a local rights group.

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The deadly clashes have seen Israeli security forces facing gunfire, grenades, Molotov cocktails and efforts - sometimes successful - to damage or penetrate the border fence.

Palestinians in Gaza have been flying balloons and kites carrying incendiary devices across the border into Israel, starting hundreds of fires.

The border protests continued this weekend with an estimated 8,000 demonstrators hurling rocks at Israeli soldiers and burning tires. Hamas has acknowledged that dozens of those killed were its members.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed in a statement that an aircraft fired at the group in the northern Gaza Strip.

A member of the Israeli Security Cabinet, Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), referred to the ceasefire talks with Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and said that "an arrangement with the organization is now not on the agenda".

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