Egyptian mediators arrive in Gaza to call for calm

Palestinian demonstrators run away from the fence during protests along the border with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on July 12, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019
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Egyptian mediators arrive in Gaza to call for calm

  • The Egyptian general intelligence officials crossed Friday from Israel through the Erez crossing and headed to meetings with Hamas officials
  • On Thursday, Hamas accused Israel of deliberately killing a member near the border fence. Israel said the incident was a misunderstanding

GAZA CITY: Palestinian officials say an Egyptian delegation has arrived in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to call for calm between Palestinian factions and Israel.
The Egyptian general intelligence officials crossed Friday from Israel through the Erez crossing and headed to meetings with Hamas officials.
The Gaza-Israel frontier has remained largely quiet since May, after the militant Hamas group and Israel ended their worst round of conflict in years. But Hamas warns Israel is avoiding an unofficial truce calling for easing restrictions and improving conditions in the impoverished enclave.
On Thursday, Hamas accused Israel of deliberately killing a member near the border fence. Israel said the incident was a misunderstanding.
Meanwhile, Palestinians began gathering at the frontier as part of a protest campaign Hamas launched last year against the blockade that Israel and Egypt imposed since Hamas seized Gaza in 2007.


UK warns British ships to avoid Hormuz Strait

Updated 55 sec ago
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UK warns British ships to avoid Hormuz Strait

LONDON: London Saturday advised British ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz for “an interim period” following Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker.
“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s unacceptable actions which represent a clear challenge to international freedom of navigation,” a government spokeswoman said following an overnight meeting of the government’s COBRA emergencies committee to discuss the crisis.
“We have advised UK shipping to stay out of the area for an interim period.”
She noted comments by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier that “there will be serious consequences if the situation is not resolved.”
She added that there will be further meetings over the weekend and “we remain in close contact with our international partners.”
Hunt said on Saturday that he was worried that Iran had taken a “dangerous path” after it seized a British-flagged tanker on Friday.
“Yesterday’s action in Gulf shows worrying signs Iran may be choosing a dangerous path of illegal and destabilizing behavior after Gibraltar’s LEGAL detention of oil bound for Syria,” Hunt said on Twitter.
“As I said yesterday our reaction will be considered but robust. We have been trying to find a way to resolve Grace1 issue but WILL ensure the safety of our shipping.”
The British navy seized Iran’s Grace 1 tanker in Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Friday it had seized the British-flagged Swedish-owned Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking “international maritime rules.”
Iranian authorities alleged Saturday the ship had collided with a fishing boat. It said the tanker was now at anchor off the port of Bandar Abbas with all its crew aboard.