Hamas officials have complained to Egypt that Israel has reneged on a key portion of the recent ceasefire deal, saying that suddenly, Israel is refusing to allow Gaza fishermen to travel five miles from shore, and have trimmed it back to only three, the pre-war level.
Egypt confirmed the complaint, and a separate complaint from Israel about a rocket strike, which appears to have precipitated the sudden fishing restriction. This, in spite of Hamas apparently having nothing to do with the rocket strike, and a Salafist faction called Magles Shoura al-Mujahedeen, a rival of Hamas, claiming credit for it, adding it was designed to embarrass President Obama for funding the Iron Dome system that Israel insists stops most such rockets, but experts say almost certainly doesn’t work.
A densely populated coastal enclave, Gaza would ideally get a large amount of its food from the sea, but a sandy, polluted shore means that there are few fish in the area immediately around the strip, forcing fishermen to move out to deeper waters.
In late February, Gaza fishermen caught a massive number of devil rays in the deeper waters, one of the biggest hauls in years. Fishermen report that now, just three weeks later, most of the fresh fish in Gaza markets was actually smuggling in from Egypt.
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