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Israel agreed to lift blockade — Egypt diplomat

Israel has agreed to lift the blockade over the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian diplomat reports.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi quotes the diplomat as saying that in talks in Cairo over a ceasefire agreement, Jerusalem has acquiesced “in principle” to some of the Palestinian demands in negotiations over a more permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, but has insisted on demilitarization.

Among the demands that Israel has reportedly agreed to are a complete lifting of the blockade on the coastal territory, an expansion of the permitted fishing zone on the Gazan coast, and the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza through all the crossings without delay.

Israel often holds up humanitarian shipments to the Gaza Strip to inspect them for materials that could be used to make weapons.

The demand to free prisoners who were released in the prisoner exchange deal to free Gilad Shalit and later rearrested was accepted by Israel only partially, on the condition that the details be discussed at a later date. Israel rejected the Palestinian demands to build an airport and seaport in Gaza, as well as a land route between Gaza and the West Bank.

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