Israel intercepts second Gaza-bound activist boat

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Gaza's Health Ministry says one Palestinian has been killed and 50 wounded by Israeli army fire in protests near the perimeter fence between the Hamas-ruled territory and Israel.

Over four months of weekly Friday border protests that began on March 30 have reduced in intensity lately but organisers have vowed they would continue until Israel lifts economic sanctions on the coastal enclave.

With borders to both Egypt and Israel largely sealed in recent years, Gaza suffers from desperately high rates of poverty and unemployment.

Also in recent months the Gaza strip and its population suffered yet another blow to their livelihood as the United States government made a decision to pull millions of dollars in aid to the UNRWA, the U.N. agency in charge of providing several sorts of aid to Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories West Bank and Gaza. Israeli troops fired tear gas and live rounds, wounding several protesters and a medic. The delegation is in Gaza amid high-level discussions about an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire.

Saleh al Arouri, deputy leader of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, returned to Gaza on Thursday after eight years of exile.

The Hamas website Safa said Friday this marks the first time all members of the political bureau have come together in Gaza.

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During this period, over 300 acres of land have been damaged by Palestinians during mass gatherings near the fence, affecting some 295 farmers; incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza towards Israel caused extensive damage to agricultural land and forests in southern Israel.

The coalition said Friday that the Swedish-flagged vessel, Freedom, was almost 60 miles (95 kilometers) off the coast.

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.

Aruri, who lives in Lebanon and has never before visited Gaza as he is wanted by Israel, was given Egyptian and United Nations assurances over his safety, the Hamas source said.

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

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