Israel Said to Ease 3-Mile Blockade on Gaza Coast

Gaza fishermen will now be able to venture out six miles, according to the ceasefire agreement

by John Glaser, November 24, 2012

Israel reportedly will allow Gaza fishermen to venture out up to 6 miles off the coast, 3 additional miles than previously allowed by Israel’s strict economic and territorial blockade on Gaza.

Ever since Hamas came to power after elections in 2006, the Israeli navy has prevented with force Gaza boats and fishermen from passing a 3-mile mark off the coast.

The easing of this by another 3 miles is in keeping with the ceasefire agreement brokered by Hamas and Egypt to end the week-long Israeli bombardment of Gaza

After Israel’s destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure in the 2008-2009 war caused the 3-mile stretch of coastal waters to become polluted, and through strictly enforced blockade this became another factor in the food insecurity of Gazans.

Another measure Israel promised to implement in the ceasefire agreement was to begin to allow Gazans to inhabit the 300-meter wide buffer zone that Israel has for years prevented Gazans from entering.

Trespassers have been consistently shot by Israeli forces patrolling the border with Gaza, and this harsh measure prevented Gazans from cultivating large swaths of arable farm land along the lengthy borders with Israel.

“The Israelis agreed to ease collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza and end extrajudicial assassinations,” writes Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the Jerusalem Fund, in the New York Times, even though “both of these are against international law to begin with and long-term Israeli adherence to these terms is not guaranteed.”

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