Israel Eases Curbs on Gaza Fishermen

Israel on Sunday extended the distance it permits Gaza fishermen to head out to sea along certain parts of the coastline of the enclave, which is run by the Islamist group Hamas.

The fishing zone was expanded from six nautical miles (11 km) to nine (16 km) along Gaza’s central and southern shores, a step that Israeli authorities said should result in a bigger catch in deeper waters, where fish are more abundant.

Israel, citing security concerns that include fears of Hamas weapons smuggling, maintains a naval blockade of Gaza, and the zone will remain at six nautical miles in northern areas near the Israeli border.

Palestinians have complained of frequent Israeli interceptions and arrests of fishermen who have strayed from the zone and of the confiscation of their boats and equipment.

Nizar Ayyash, chairman of the Gaza fishermen’s union, called the expansion insufficient, noting that Israel’s interim Oslo peace deals with the Palestinians call for a 20 nautical mile (37 km)zone in the Mediterranean.

Hamas, which seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from the rival Fatah movement, and last fought a war with Israel in 2014, rejects the Oslo accords.

Ayyash said there are 4,000 fishermen in Gaza, home to 1.95 million people.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Israel Eases Curbs on Gaza Fishermen

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close