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Israel expands Gaza's fishing zone after week-long closure

May 10, 2019 11:00 A.M. (Updated: May 13, 2019 2:19 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities decided to expand the permitted fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, on Friday, to 12 nautical miles after drastically reducing the zone to only six over a week ago.

Head of the Fishermen Union in Gaza, Nizar Ayyash, said that Israeli authorities notified Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their decision to allow the expansion of the permitted fishing zone starting from 10 a.m. on Friday morning.

Over a week ago, Israeli authorities reduced the permitted fishing zone to six nautical miles and destroyed Palestinian fishing nets nine nautical miles off Gaza’s coast.

The decision to reduce the fishing zone came after the Hamas movement allegedly fired six rockets, one of which landed near the coast of Ashdod City, in southern Israel, while the others were directed towards the sea.

According to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in 1994, a permitted fishing range of 20 nautical miles was agreed on between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). In practice, Israel only allowed fishing up to 12 nautical miles until 2006, when the fishing zone was reduced to six and later to three.

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