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HAMAS APPEALS TO EGYPT AFTER ISRAEL HALVES GAZA FISHING ZONE

Muslim World

Hamas complained to Egypt on 21 March after Israel suspended part of a Cairo-brokered truce agreement by halving Palestinian access to fishing waters in response to a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip. The salvo at the Israeli border town of Sderot, which caused no casualties, coincided with a visit to Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank by US President Barack Obama.
It was reportedly claimed by a small Al-Qaeda-linked faction that has challenged the Hamas group’s rule in the Gaza Strip. Israel, which holds Hamas responsible for any violence emanating from the enclave, retaliated by shutting the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing on the Gaza border and by enforcing a newly restricted 5 km wide fishing zone.

The zone had been extended to 11 km as part of an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that ended an eight-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in November last, in which 166 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed. “We have informed Cairo of this violation and we are waiting to hear a clear position from Egyptian mediators on this,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, giving no indication that Hamas wanted to abandon the cease-fire arrangement.



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