Israel Cuts Gaza Fishing Zone After Unrelated Fires

Israel takes half of fishing zone, closes border crossing

On Wednesday night, Israel halved the Gaza Strip fishing zone as a form of collective punishment against the Gazans. Officially this was retaliation for fires started by incendiary balloons.

Of course, the people launching the balloons are not the same people who need to fish. The blockade severely limits Gaza’s access to food, and taking the exterior half of the fishing zone will more than reduce their fishing output by half.

Israel has regularly used fishing limits to “punish” the Gazans, and dangles increases of fishing as an incentive to get their way.This is always temporary, keeping Gazans on a more or less permanent diet.

The incendiary balloons are an ongoing problem, but again Israel’s response is to attack people unrelated to the balloons. It’s likely to be popular domestically as they are doing something, and punishing the Palestinians is politically a safe choice.

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.