Gazan Fishermen Protest Israeli Ban

Gazan fishermen have protested the Israeli naval blockade that deprives them of access to natural resources in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Israeli navy is threatening the livelihood of nearly 3,300 fishermen working along the 40-kilometer-long coastline of the Gaza Strip.

On an almost daily basis, Israeli gunboats fire at Gaza fishermen, forcing them to cease fishing in the Mediterranean Sea.

Tens of thousands of Gazans depend on fishing, and — as their desperation has mounted — some have been going out to sea regardless of the Israeli ban.

In recent days Israeli aggression has surged against the fishermen, who say they risk their lives every time they go fishing.

The Israeli regime claims it is imposing a naval blockade to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza.

"Last year my nephew was killed by the Israeli navy boats while he was fishing,” fisherman Mohammad Bakry told Press TV.

“Israel continues to tighten its restrictions and bully us day after day and only allows us to fish in an area less than 2 nautical miles where fish is scarce," Bakry said.

Under the so-called 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, Israel retained military control of Gaza’s territorial waters and agreed to allow fishing boats to sail into the Mediterranean Sea for up to 20 nautical miles.

But in reality, fishing is only permitted within less than three nautical miles.

Environmental experts say confining Gaza fishermen to such a small fishing area is destroying the life of living organisms in the Mediterranean off the Gaza Strip’s coast.

"There is a phenomenon of excessive fishing in a very small area and it is destroying the marine life off the Mediterranean coast near the Gaza Strip,” said environmental expert Zekra Ajjor.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) restriction on the zone in which Gazans are allowed to fish is reducing catches and adversely affecting people’s diets in Gaza.

(Press TV)

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