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                                        Volume. 12115
U.S. reviewing arms shipments to Israel
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Gaza99(24).jpgIsrael's relations with its ally the United States showed new signs of strain as a fragile ceasefire around Gaza held for a second day Friday. 
 
Washington denied a report that the White House was tightening the reins on the routine delivery of military aid to Israel over concerns about the proportionality of its military action in Gaza, according to AFP. 
 
But the State Department acknowledged that arms shipments were being kept under review in the face of a conflict that has killed 1,962 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side since July 8.
 
Egyptian mediators won a new five-day ceasefire late Wednesday to give Israeli and Palestinian negotiators more time to thrash out a longer-term truce.
 
The ceasefire got off to a rocky start in its first few hours but Israeli officials said it had held into a second day Friday.
 
The military said there was no Palestinian rocket fire overnight and that it had carried out no airstrikes.
 
"There was nothing," a spokeswoman told AFP.
 
Negotiations are expected to resume in Cairo Saturday evening, as Palestinian and Israeli negotiators consult with their political leaderships about the parameters for an eventual long-term truce.
 
Hamas, the Islamist movement which rules Gaza, insist there can be no return to peace without a lifting of Israel's eight-year blockade of the beleaguered coastal enclave.
 
Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq left Egypt Friday for Qatar following a five-day ceasefire in the Gaza Strip with Israel, sources at Cairo International Airport said.
 
Abu Marzouq is expected to meet Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal in Doha to brief him on the outcome of Egypt-hosted indirect talks between Palestinian factions and Israel.
 

52 Palestinians arrested in East Jerusalem
 
Police arrested 52 Palestinians in east Jerusalem overnight, taking to more than 600 the number of alleged rioters seized since unrest erupted early July over the hate killing of a Palestinian teen.
 
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP on Thursday that more arrests were expected.
 
 
Witch hunt against Israel's war critics
 
In Israel, dissent against the war in Gaza is bitterly quashed. The few who speak out complain of being harassed, intimidated or even sacked. The once mighty left has disappeared.
 
Liberal newspaper Haaretz decried Friday what it called a "witch hunt" against leftists and civil rights organizations after the director of the national service administration, Sar-Shalom Jerbi, told rights group B'Tselem it was being blacklisted as an employer.
 
"I feel obligated to exercise my power and stop the state assistance provided to an organization that works against the state and against soldiers who are heroically giving their very lives to protect the safety and well-being of all citizens," Jerbi wrote in a letter.
 
He accused B'Tselem of disseminating lies and slander, endangering the state and publishing information that encourages Israel's enemies and leads to violent anti-Semitic acts against Jews around the world.

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