(Corrects kilometre figure in paragraph 5)
* Israel shuts crossing, curbs fishing after rocket strike
* Egypt says received complaints from Hamas and Israel
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA, March 22 (Reuters) - Hamas complained to Egypt on
Friday after Israel suspended part of a Cairo-brokered truce
agreement by halving Palestinian access to fishing waters in
response to a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.
Thursday's salvo at the Israeli border town of Sderot, which
caused no casualties, coincided with a visit to Israel and the
Israeli-occupied West Bank by U.S. President Barack Obama.
It was claimed by a small al Qaeda-linked faction that has
challenged the Islamist Hamas group's rule in the Gaza Strip.
Israel, which holds Hamas responsible for any violence
emanating from the enclave, retaliated by shutting the Kerem
Shalom commercial crossing on the Gaza border and by enforcing a
newly restricted 5 km (3 mile) wide fishing zone.
The zone had been extended to 11 km (6 miles) as part of an
Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that ended an eight-day conflict
between Israel and Hamas in November, in which 166 Palestinians
and six Israelis were killed.
"We have informed Cairo of this violation and we are waiting
to hear a clear position from Egyptian mediators on this," Hamas
spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, giving no indication that Hamas
wanted to abandon the ceasefire arrangement.
An Egyptian official confirmed that the Hamas complaint had
been received, saying Israel had complained separately about the
rocket attack - the second of its kind since November.
The official said Cairo would contact both sides to "restore
their commitment to the truce". Israel said on Thursday its new
Gaza restrictions would be in place until further notice.
Magles Shoura al-Mujahedeen, a hardline Islamist Salafi
faction with a small presence in Gaza and the neighbouring
Egyptian Sinai, claimed responsibility for the salvo on Sderot.
In an online statement, the group said it had struck during
Obama's visit to show up Israeli air defences - a likely
reference to Israel's U.S.-backed Iron Dome rocket shield.
Magles Shoura al-Muhajedeen and Hamas are both hostile to
Israel. But the Salafis accuse Hamas of diluting Islamist
doctrine by seeking accommodation with secular Palestinians.
Hamas has at times cracked down on the Salafis, seeing them
as a threat to the stability of the impoverished Gaza Strip.
On Thursday the Hamas administration's spokesman Taher
al-Nono questioned whether rockets had been fired from Gaza and
reaffirmed commitment to the "mutual calm agreement brokered by
Reducing Gaza's fishing waters spelled losses for some 3,000
Palestinians whose livelihood depends on the sea.
"There is nothing to catch within three miles from shore,"
said fisherman Talal Shweikh, 62. "All the fish that you see in
the market today came from Egypt."
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alistair Lyon)