Israel Expands Gaza Fishing Zone 'To Avoid Humanitarian Deterioration'

Following cease-fire, the move is 'part of a policy that differentiates between terrorist activities and an uninvolved civilian population,' Israeli military says

Palestinian fishermen unload their catch from boats after a night fishing trip, in the Gaza Seaport, May 21, 2019.
Hatem Moussa/AP

Israel has expanded fishing zones along the coast of Gaza from 12 nautical miles (22 km) to 15, the Defense Ministry announced Tuesday, as part of the cease-fire agreements with the two main factions in the Palestinian enclave, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Gazans had been barred from fishing at all after the latest round of violence began, but fishing zones were reopened less than two weeks ago.

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In a statement, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon said the recent move is part of "a civilian policy to avoid a humanitarian deterioration in the Gaza Strip and part of a policy that differentiates between terrorist activities and an uninvolved civilian population."

Abu Rokom added that the expansion would remain in place on condition that Gazan fishermen do not exceed the agreed-upon fishing zone, and that any deviation will be handled by the security forces.