Israeli Navy Opens Fire at Fishermen Offshore Gaza

GAZA, July 12, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli navy Sunday attacked Palestinian fishing boats despite sailing within the unilaterally designated fishing zone, according to WAFA correspondent.

Israeli navy opened a hail of gunfire toward fishermen boats sailing offshore As-sodanyieh area to the northwest of the Gaza Strip despite sailing within the allowed six-nautical miles, however, no injuries or damages were reported as fishermen managed to sail back to shore.

To be noted, Israeli navy targets Palestinian fishermen and farmlands along the border almost on daily basis in a blatant breach of the Egyptian brokered truce agreement reached on august 26 of 2014 following almost 51 one days of bloody attacks on the strip.

On March 7, Israeli navy attacked fishermen, critically injuring Tawfiq Abu Rayyala in the abdomen, who shortly after succumbed to his wounds.

The ceasefire deal stipulated that Israel would immediately ease the blockade imposed on the strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.

Israel has however failed to do so, repeatedly violating the ceasefire deal through opening fire on Palestinian fishermen within the fishing zone and reducing their intake.

Israel has imposed a tightened blockade since 2007 after Hamas won the democratic legislative elections and took over power in the strip.

The current six-nautical-mile fishing zone falls drastically short of the twenty nautical miles allocated to Palestinian fishermen in the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Meanwhile, OXFAM reported on the fishing industry and fishermen saying, “With most of the fish at least nine miles out at sea, they have already been struggling to make a living and now 90 percent of them need international aid.”