Israel Seizes Swedish Aid Ship En Route to Gaza

Dr. Majed Khraishi has lived in Newfoundland for 30 years but still has family in Jordan and the West Bank

Dr. Majed Khraishi has lived in Newfoundland for 30 years but still has family in Jordan and the West Bank

Palestinian relatives of Moaath al-Souri, who was shot and killed by Israeli troops on Friday's ongoing protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, mourn over his body at the family home during his funeral in Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Saturday, July 28, 2018.

An Israeli envoy has visited the Qatari capital of Doha in recent days to obtain Qatari funds for a deal to be finalized between Hamas and Israel, according to Israel's Channel 2 in a report that did not give further details.

On Saturday, the Israeli army said an aircraft had fired at "a terrorist squad" launching "arson balloons" at Israel.

The military said it sustained no casualties in the incident.

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Israel has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in Gaza since 2008 and says the blockade is necessary to keep them from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used for military purposes.

The paper reported on Friday the deal stipulated that Hamas must commit to "the end of the provocations along the border, or in other words, the phenomena of the flaming kites and balloons, border crossing operations and setting fire to border posts".

Under global law, said the report, while addressing its military and security needs in areas along the perimeter fence, Israel is obliged to avoid causing disproportionate harm to the lives and livelihoods of the Palestinian population.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition, an umbrella group for pro-Palestinian and Islamic charities from around the world, said Friday the Swedish-flagged vessel, Freedom, was almost 60 miles (95 kilometers) off the coast.

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Hamas officials had no immediate comment on the ship's seizure.

"The delegation will (consult). over issues of concern for the Palestinian people, foremost in achieving the national reconciliation and ending the Gaza blockade", Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said before the delegation arrived.

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.

The vessel Freedom for Gaza was the second vessel of the "Freedom Flotilla" to be seized as it tried to "break the blockade" on Gaza, organizers said.

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