Israeli forces ban fishing off Gaza Coast

Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza City harbour, 13 June 2019

The Palestine Chronicle reports on 17 August 2020:

Israeli occupation forces yesterday completely closed the Gaza Strip’s fishing zone due to the alleged breach of the security truce.

The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) stated that Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, endorsed the recommendation of the Chief of Staff, the COGAT and the security authorities, to completely close Gaza’s fishing zone.

The COGAT said this was in response to rockets fired from Gaza to the Sderot settlement last night and the continued launch of incendiary balloons.

The Committee for Documenting Violations Against Fishermen said that the Israeli navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats and pumped water at them, forcing fishermen to return to shore without warning.

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the fence separating besieged Gaza Strip from Israel, if they approach the unilaterally declared buffer zone.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem recently concluded that Israel’s Gaza closure and “harassment of fishermen” have been “destroying Gaza’s fishing sector,” with 95% of fishermen living below the poverty line.

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