GAZA CITY (IPS) – “From the coast to eight miles out, the sea is like a desert: it’s sandy and there are no fish,” said Mohammed al-Bakri, tracing a thick line on the wall map before him.
As the general manager of Gaza’s Union of Agricultural Work Committees, al-Bakri is well-versed in the woes of Gaza’s fishermen and farmers. “The Israeli navy attacks the fishermen, arrests them and takes their boats, even within three miles,” he said, referring to the limit the Israeli authorities have unilaterally imposed on Palestinian fishermen.
Under the Oslo accords, Palestinian fishermen are authorized to fish 20 nautical miles into Gaza’s sea. The Israeli authorities have illegally downsized Palestinian fishing waters, using lethal violence to enforce new restrictions on fishing. Palestinian fishermen are routinely attacked by the Israeli navy, using machine guns, water cannons and shells. Abductions of fishermen also occur. Read more