Fishing boat off Gaza coast (illustration)
Fishing boat off Gaza coast (illustration) Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

Israel lifted a ban on Friday on Arab fishing boats putting to sea off Gaza, an Israeli military body said, ending a measure imposed during a deadly flare-up of violence earlier this month.

The measure is seen as a first step in implementing a fragile truce meant to avert a new conflict between Israel and Islamist terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

"Friday, the Gaza Strip fishing zone is expected to reopen at a range of up to 12 nautical miles," the Israeli military body responsible for managing Judea, Samaria, and administering Israeli operations around Gaza, COGAT, said.

"Application of the measure is conditioned on the Gaza Strip fishermen respecting the agreements."

The Israeli navy often fires on Gazan boats it says have exceed the limits it enforces.

The fishing union in Gaza confirmed the lifting of the ban.

Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad fired 700 hundred rockets at Israel on Saturday and Sunday, with the army striking dozens of targets in Gaza in response.

Four Israeli civilians were killed in the rocket attacks, with roughly 100 people injured.

COGAT closed the fishing zone and the border crossings for both people and goods between Israel and Gaza in response to the rocket fire.

A tentative truce was reached on Monday. Israel did not publicly confirm the deal.

COGAT's statement late on Thursday did not mention any reopening of the border crossings.

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