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GAZA, August 15, 2018 (Reuters) - Israel allowed commercial goods back into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, in a sign of an easing of tensions as neighbouring Egypt pursued a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian faction that rules the enclave.

At Israel’s Kerem Shalom commercial crossing with Gaza, consignments of fruits and vegetables, fuel and construction material moved into the territory of two million people on Wednesday morning, a Reuters camera crew said.

Israel announced on Tuesday it would lift the commercial goods ban it imposed on July 9 in response to the launching by Palestinians of incendiary balloons across the frontier.

Israel also expanded Gaza’s fishing zone, in waters under Israeli naval blockade, from 3 to 9 nautical miles off the southern coast and to six nautical miles in the north, an area closer to the Israeli border, the head of Gaza’s fishermen’s union said.

Prior restrictions on the import of commercial goods that Israel says could also be used for military purposes remained in effect, a Palestinian border official said. He said they included balloons and tires.

Egypt and the United Nations have been trying to broker a comprehensive truce to prevent more fighting and to ease the deep economic hardship in Gaza.

Hamas officials said Palestinian factions were in Cairo to discuss terms for a ceasefire with Israel, whose security cabinet was due to consider the issue later in the day.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the ultranationalist Jewish Home party in the governing coalition, put Netanyahu on notice that his faction would vote against an agreement with Hamas.

RAMALLAH, August 13, 20l8 (MENA) - Israeli forces decided to demolish the house of the family of martyr Mohamed Tareq Dar-Yousef in Kuber town, northwest of Ramallah.

Palestinian sources said the army stormed into the town and hanged a demolition notice on the house's wall and handed over the demolition order to the family's next-door neighbour.

Occupation troops stormed into the house in preparation for razing it to the ground soon.

Dar-Yousef's family has left the town some time ago.

RAMALLAH, Aug 12 , 2018 (MENA) - The Palestinian government called again on the international community to swiftly intervene and press Israel to lift the unjust siege on the Gaza Strip.

In a statement on Sunday, Palestinian government spokesman Yousef al Mahmoud said the enclave's warning that daily life was about to collapse necessitates the international community's intervention.

The spokesman said the Israeli occupation and schism among Palestinian factions are the main reasons behind the complicated Palestinian situation, underlining the importance of national unity to overcome the current crisis.

TEL AVIV, Israel, August 12, 2018 (AP) — Members of Israel’s Arab minority led a mass protest in central Tel Aviv on Saturday night against a contentious new law that critics say marginalizes the state’s non-Jewish citizens.

The rally marked further fallout from the explosive Nation-State law and came a week after thousands of Druze, also members of the Arab minority, packed the same city square last week.

Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence defined the country as a Jewish and democratic state and the government says the recently passed bill merely enshrines the country’s existing character. But critics say it undercuts Israel’s democratic values and sidelines the country’s non-Jewish population, namely the Arab community that makes up 20 per cent of the country.

One clause downgrades the Arabic language from official to “special” standing.

Israeli media reported tens of thousands of Jews and Arabs attended the protest. Some Arab protesters waved Palestinian flags and others held signs reading “equality.” Some knelt and preformed Muslim prayers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted footage on Twitter of protesters waving the Palestinian flags. “No better testament to the necessity of the Nation State law,” he wrote.

Ayman Odeh, an Arab member of the Israeli parliament, told The Associated Press: “This is the first time that tens of thousands of Arabs have come to Tel Aviv with Jewish democratic groups. They came to say this is not the end of the demonstrations, but the first serious demonstration against the Nation State law.”

Many Jewish Israelis, including top retired security officials and politicians, have also harshly criticized the law.

Omar Sultan, from the Arab city of Tira in central Israel, said he was protesting to send a message to Netanyahu.

“This law is against us, against the Arabic language, against peace, against our future in this land, we are the real people of this land, we can’t agree on this law,” he said.

Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy full citizenship rights but face discrimination in some areas of society like jobs and housing. They share the ethnicity and culture of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and often identify with Palestinian nationalism, rather than Israeli.

Tens of thousands of Druze, also members of the Arab minority, packed the same square in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and commercial centre, last week. The Druze are followers of a secretive offshoot of Shiite Islam and are considered fiercely loyal to the state and serve in Israel’s military, unlike most of the country’s other Arab citizens.

Over the years, members of the Druze community have risen to prominence in the military and in politics. Some Druze have said they feel betrayed by the law and several Druze military officers recently said they would stop serving in response to it, sparking fears of widespread insubordination.

GAZA CITY, Aug 12, 2018 (MENA) - Israeli occupation naval forces detained on Sunday five Palestinian fishermen off the coast of northern Gaza Strip.

In press statements, Palestinian Fishermen Union Chief Nezar Ayash said all detained fishermen belong to one family. 

Israeli naval boats routinely open fire on Palestinian fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-miles zone and farmlands along the border, flagrantly violating the ceasefire deal.

GAZA, August 11, 2018 (News Wires) - A 40-year-old Palestinian hit by Israeli fire during protests on the Gaza border died of his wounds on Saturday, taking the previous day's death toll to three, the territory's health ministry said.

He was among at least 131 Palestinians wounded by Israeli bullets during Friday's protests.

The health ministry identified the dead man as Ahmed Abu Lulu and said he was shot in a section of the border east of the southern city of Rafah where two other Palestinians were also killed.

The ministry identified them as Ali al-Alul, 55, and volunteer medic Abdullah al-Qatati, 21.

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