Israel, Hamas agree to restore calm along Gaza border

Palestinian Hamas policemen stop vehicles during a lockdown imposed following the discovery of coronavirus cases in the Gaza Strip, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 31 August 2020

Israel, Hamas agree to restore calm along Gaza border

  • Under the deal, brokered by a Qatari envoy, Hamas would end the launching of incendiary balloons

GAZA: Palestinian militant groups and Israel agreed to end a weeks-long escalation of unrest along the Israel-Gaza border, Gaza’s ruling Islamist group Hamas and Israel said on Monday.
Under the deal, brokered by a Qatari envoy, Hamas would end the launching of incendiary balloons, and Israel would end air strikes, said a Palestinian official close to the mediation.
COGAT, Israel’s liaison agency to the Palestinian territories, confirmed that after security consultations led by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Gaza’s main goods crossing would reopen and fishermen would be allowed back to work, up to 15 nautical miles.
A COGAT statement said the decisions were “subject to the continuation of the calm and the security stability” but warned that if Hamas failed to deliver, Israel would “act accordingly.”
Hamas said the understanding would ease the way for implementation of projects “that will serve the people of Gaza, and alleviate the suffering amid the coronavirus wave.”
Palestinians and humanitarian groups have urged an easing of the Israeli-led blockade on Gaza, fearing even more hardship after the first outbreak of COVID-19 there last week.
Israel says the restrictions are necessary because of security fears over Hamas, which it regards as a terrorist organization.


Two Turkish troops killed in attack in northern Iraq

Updated 50 min 42 sec ago

Two Turkish troops killed in attack in northern Iraq

  • Turkey has regularly attacked Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants
  • Ankara launched a new ground offensive dubbed Operation Claw-Tiger

ANKARA: Two Turkish soldiers were killed and another was wounded after Kurdish militants fired rockets at a military base in northern Iraq, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Turkey has regularly attacked Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, both in its mainly Kurdish southeast and in northern Iraq, where the group is based. In June, Ankara launched a new ground offensive, dubbed Operation Claw-Tiger, that saw Turkish troops advance deeper into Iraq.
The ministry said “harassment fire” by rocket launchers on Thursday killed the two troops at one of Turkey’s bases in neighboring Iraq.
The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict focused in southeast Turkey.
In a separate statement, the Interior Ministry said 71 PKK militants had been killed since July 13 as part of a series of operations within Turkey, dubbed the “Lightning Operations,” and added 38 collaborators had also been captured.