Israel has eased some restrictions on Palestinian fisherman as part of the Gaza Strip ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel brokered by Egypt, Hamas officials said Saturday.
Fishermen based in Gaza can now sail up to six nautical miles away from the coast, instead of three, Ra'fat Shehada, the chief of the Egyptian intelligence, told Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya.
Commenting on the new developments, the chairman of Gaza's fishermen union Nazar Ayesh said, however, that six nautical miles were still insufficient, and that the limit should be extended to 20 miles for fishermen to have a chance to provide for themselves.
Ayesh urged the international community to intervene in order to stop what he said was the suffering of the Strip's fishermen.
According to data provided by the Palestinian fishing union, Gaza has about 3,700 registered fishermen, who operate approximately 700 boats, providing for more than 70,000 people.
Egyptian and Israeli officials are to meet on Monday to discuss other aspects of the ceasefire, which ended eight days of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli reprisals.
Israeli airstrikes killed 167 Palestinians, while six Israelis were killed by Palestinian fire during the eight-day conflict.
Israel imposed a 300-metre-wide buffer zone along its border with Gaza and restricted the movement of fishing boats when the Islamic movement took over the Strip by force, in 2007.
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