Israel Announces Expansion of Gaza Fishing Zone to 15 Miles

Zone was limited to 10 miles last week after fires were sparked by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza

Palestinian fishermen pull their net off the port in Gaza City on May 23, 2019.

Israel will expand the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip to 15 miles from the shore starting on Sunday morning, the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories said Saturday night. A statement said the decision to expand the zone was "part of the civilian policy to prevent a humanitarian deterioration in the Gaza Strip."

The statement added that the step was taken "as part of a policy differentiating between terrorism and the uninvolved population," and that any deviation from the zone "will be handled appropriately by the security forces."

The fishing zone was limited to ten nautical miles last week after incendiary balloons launched from Gaza sparked fires in Israel. In early May, a violent escalation led to the fishing zone being closed and then reopened with a limit of 12 nautical miles.