Israel to Expand Gaza Fishing Zone, Allow in Raw Materials, in Light of Calm

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said decision comes in light of recent calm between Israel and Gaza and following 'political approval'

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Palestinian fishermen in Gaza City in May.
Palestinian fishermen in Gaza City in May.Credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit announced on Thursday that due to the calm security situation over the past week, they have decided to expand the designated fishing area for Gazan fishermen from six to nine nautical miles.

The unit said that they came to this decision only “after assessing the security situation and after obtaining political approval.” COGAT has also decided to approve the import of raw materials for essential civilian factories from Israel to Gaza. These measures will take effect starting on Friday.

These measures are conditioned on maintaining the currently calm security situation between Hamas and Israel.

Israel’s political leadership instructed the IDF and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to open the fishing zone off the Gaza coast at the end of May following the ceasefire agreement, after they closed it due to rocket fire at Israel from the Strip.

Gaza's fishing zone was expanded to six nautical miles from the coast at the end of May, but if the cease-fire holds, Israel will increase it to 15 miles in the near future.

Israel announced earlier this week that it is allowing a reduced amount of agricultural exports to leave the Gaza Strip starting Monday, marking the first time since last month's hostilities that goods are permitted to be exported from the Strip.

The products, which will move through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, are bound for the West Bank and foreign states.

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