The Palestinian Fishermen’s Syndicate of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees announced on Thursday that the fishing zone from the port area in Gaza City all the way to the northern part of the sliver had been reduced to six nautical miles.
Israeli officials are yet to comment or provide a reason for the move.
The development came as Israeli officials had recently expanded the fishing zone off the coast of the Gaza Strip to 10 nautical miles.
Zionist forces attack Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza with live fire, water cannonIsraeli naval forces have attacked Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza Strip with live fire and water cannon.
Under the Oslo Accords signed in 1993, Israel is obligated to permit fishing up to 20 nautical miles off the coast of the Gaza Strip, but this has never been implemented. The Oslo Accords were signed between the Israeli regime and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) during the early-mid 1990s to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel maintains a heavy naval presence off the coast of the impoverished Palestinian enclave, severely affecting the livelihood of some 4,000 fishermen and at least 1,500 more people involved in the fishing industry.
Over the past few years, Israeli forces have carried out more than a hundred attacks on Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating several boats.
Israel shrinks Gaza fishing zone over alleged incendiary balloonsIsrael has cut the offshore fishing restriction it imposes for vessels off the Gaza shore.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
On December 7, a Palestinian NGO said the economic loss imposed on the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s blockade of the impoverished enclave is estimated to stand at nearly 100 million dollars a month.
“The crises of the economic sector are directly caused by the Israeli siege imposed on the coastal enclave since 2007,” Jamal al-Khudari, head of the Popular Committee Against Siege (PCAS), said.
Gaza economy sustains nearly $100mn monthly loss due to Israeli blockade: NGOThe monthly economic loss for the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli blockade stands at nearly $100 million.
Khudari, who is also a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), added that a total of “4,000 factories, workshops, shops and companies have closed or shrunk their activities by more than 80 percent of their operational capacity over the past years … due to the Israeli siege.”
He highlighted that the remaining companies, shops, factories, and economic facilities are currently operating with less than 50 percent of their operational capacity.
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Khudari also said that 85 percent of Gazans are living under the poverty line, calling on the international community to pressure the Israeli regime to end its blockade on the coastal sliver.