Israeli navy 'tried to sink Gaza fishing boats'

Israeli forces 'tried to sink Palestinian fishing boats' and infiltrate northern Gaza border
2 min read
09 February, 2021
Israel made a deliberate attempt to sink Gazan fishing boats by firing several bursts of gunfire and military grade water hoses at the vessel.
Gaza is a besieged enclave [Getty]
The Israeli navy targeted fishermen sailing off the Gaza coast on Tuesday, while armoured vehicles infiltrated the Palestinian territory's northern border.

The Palestinian fishermen were sailing within six nautical miles of the Gaza coast when Israeli naval boats began firing rounds and high-pressure water hoses at the vessels, causing significant damage to at least three boats, according to Palestinian news agencies.

The Israeli naval boats made a deliberate attempt to sink the fishing boats with the violent measures, Wafa added.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military stormed the Gaza border fence in the north of the strip, demolishing large tracts of farmland and erecting earth mounds.

Israeli soldiers opened fire to prevent the Palestinian farmers from reaching their land close to the border fence, media added.

Israel restricts the distance of Gaza's fishing zone as part of a decade-long blockade on the territory, claiming it is a preventative security measure.

The policy has crippled the fishing industry in coastal Gaza, with over 90 percent of fishermen dependent on aid to survive, according to rights groups.

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

Over a decade of siege

In 2006, 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 restricted.

Israel insists its blockade is necessary to isolate Hamas, with which it has fought three wars since 2008, bringing devastation to the Gaza Strip.

Critics say the blockade, along with a periodic bombardment of Gaza amounts to collective punishment of the coastal enclave's 2 million residents.

In 2014, the UN - along with four other human rights organisations - said that the Gaza Strip could end up becoming 'uninhabitable' because of Israel's policies. The decade-long siege has plunged hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into poverty. 

Nearly 70 percent of Gaza's population is food insecure and around 80 percent of Palestinians in the beseiged enclave are reliant on international aid, according to the United Nations.

Out of Gaza's 1.8 million population, 1.4 million are refugees whose ancestors were forced out of their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

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