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Israel eases Gaza fishing restrictions

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

Date of publication: 4 June, 2019

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Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Gaza in 2007, effectively turning the coastal enclave into an open-air prison where basic necessities are severely controlled.

Israel eased the fishing limit off the blockaded Gaza Strip on Tuesday, an official said, a week after cutting it in response to incendiary balloons.

The limit has now been restored to a maximum of 15 nautical miles, the Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.

It is the same limit set in April ahead of Israel's general election and the largest allowed in years,

Last Wednesday, Israel had cut the limit to 10 nautical miles after balloons fitted with firebombs were floated into its territory from Gaza.

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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