Israel shrinks Gaza fishing zone over alleged incendiary balloons
Iran Press TV
Thu Jun 6, 2019 02:17PM
The Israeli regime has cut the offshore fishing restriction it imposes for vessels off the Gaza shore after its officials claimed that incendiary balloons were launched from the besieged enclave towards the occupied territories.
An unnamed Israeli regime official told media outlets on Thursday that as of Wednesday the fishing limit for Gaza fishermen had been reduced from a maximum of 15 nautical miles to 10.
Israel has cut the fishing zone it allows off Gaza in the third such measure in a fortnight, citing Palestinian incendiary balloons.
It was only on Tuesday that Israel restored the limit to 15 miles after a previous reduction last week. It imposed a similar cut on May 23.
The limit of up to 15 nautical miles set ahead of Israel's April general election was the largest allowed in years.
Under the Oslo Accords signed in 1993, Israel is obligated to permit fishing up to 20 nautical miles, but this has never been implemented.
The accords were signed between the Israeli regime and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) during the 1990s to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In practice, Israel only allowed fishing up to 12 nautical miles until 2006, when the fishing zone was reduced to six and later to three miles.
Israel maintains a heavy naval presence off the coast of the impoverished Palestinian enclave, severely affecting the livelihood of some 4,000 fishermen and at least 1,500 more people involved in the fishing industry.
Over the past few years, Israeli forces have carried out more than a hundred attacks on Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating several boats.
Flying fiery kites and balloons has become a new mode of protests by Gazans since last March, when the regime in Israel began a crackdown against anti-occupation demonstrations near the fence separating Gaza from the Israeli-occupied land.
The violence has so far left at least 305 Palestinians dead and more than 17,000 others wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
The economy of Gaza has also suffered from years of Israeli and Egyptian blockades.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since June 2007. It has caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Israel has launched three major wars against the enclave, killing thousands of Gazans each time and shattering the impoverished territory's already poor infrastructure.
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