Israel expands Gaza fishing zone, implementing cease-fire

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it is expanding the permitted fishing zone off Gaza's coast, the latest sign that a cease-fire deal with Palestinian militants is moving forward.

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COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Tuesday that it had expanded the fishing zone to 15 nautical miles (28 kilometers).

The cease-fire agreement, brokered earlier this month by the U.N., Egypt and Qatar, ended the worst bout of violence between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers since a devastating 2014 war.

The deal calls for economic incentives to ameliorate the dire conditions in the Gaza Strip, including loosening restrictions on movement and allowing cash for civil servant salaries and Qatari-funded fuel shipments into the enclave. Israel imposed a blockade with Egypt's help after Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007.