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4,000 Gaza fishermen go fishing in six-mile area

Posted on Aug 29 2014 | IANS

Gaza, Aug 28 : As many as 4,000 fishermen in the Gaza Strip Thursday were able to go fishing in a expanded zone, previously restricted to just three miles by Israel, a senior Palestinian official said.

The Israel allowed fishermen to go fishing in an area of six miles, which will be nine miles by next week and will increase to 12 miles within next months according to the agreement reached in Egypt Tuesday.

"Since last night, fishermen in the Gaza Strip managed to catch 20 tonnes of different kinds of fish," Xinhua quoted chairman of the fishermen union in Gaza, Nizar Ayyash, as saying in a statement.

During the past 51 days of the large-scale Israeli army air, sea and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, 4,000 fishermen with around 1,000 fishing boats unable to go fishing.

In 2012, Israel agreed to expand the fishing zone from three to six miles. However, when two tunnels going from Gaza into Israel were discovered, the Israeli army had restricted the fishing area back to three miles.

The conflict in Gaza ended Tuesday after Israel and the Palestinians agreed on an open-ended ceasefire, putting an end to seven weeks of bloodshed.

In the Egypt-brokered agreement, Israel had agreed to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow in aid supplies and building materials.

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