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Israel tightens Gaza fishing restrictions 'until further notice' Open in fullscreen

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Israel tightens Gaza fishing restrictions 'until further notice'

In 2007, Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Gaza. [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 May, 2019

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Israeli restrictions on Gaza's fishing industry have crippled the industry, with over 95 percent of fishermen living in poverty.

Israel announced on Wednesday it had tightened restrictions on Palestinian fishing off the blockaded Gaza Strip after more balloons fitted with firebombs were floated from the enclave into its territory.

The zone it allows Gaza fishermen was reduced to a maximum of 10 nautical miles from 15, COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry unit that oversees such regulations, said.

The zone will be reduced "until further notice," COGAT said, while any deviation from the zone "will be handled appropriately by the security forces."

The move came just days after Israel restored the fishing limit to the 15 nautical mile maximum after a previous cut in response to fire balloons last week.

Israeli restrictions on Gaza's fishing industry have crippled the industry, with over 95 percent of fishermen living in poverty.

The restricted fishing zone has led to overfishing in a small area, resulting in depleted fish stocks.

In 2007, Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the strip, effectively turning the coastal enclave into an open-air prison, where basic necessities such as food, fuel and medicines are severely controlled.

Critics say the blockade amounts to collective punishment of the coastal enclave's two million residents. The UN says Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020, but human rights organisations say Gaza has already reached inhabitability.

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