Israel Blocks Gaza Fishermen Over Airborne Firebombs

Israel has repeatedly cut back fishing zone in recent weeks

After several previous moves to pare back the size of the Gaza Strip’s fishing zone, Israel announced a full blockade of Gaza as of Wednesday, effectively ending all fishing for the time being.

Israel has long been using fishing rights as a means of cracking down on the Gazan public, one of few options they have since preventing aid shipments into the strip, and closing the border crossing.

Israel’s use of the Gaza fishing zone as collective punishment for the civilians has been deeply criticized. Gazans are almost never given the traditional fishing zone every other country in the world enjoys, and are often left fishing in just a tiny area near shore. Now, they can’t even do that.

Officially, Israel says the closure is retaliation for aerial firebombs, their new term for fire balloons floated across the border. As many as eight fires were reported in Israel as a result of these balloons, though Israel insisted they were all under control by evening.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.