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Israel bans fishing off Gaza coast

The Israeli occupation forces yesterday completely closed the Gaza Strip’s fishing zone due to the alleged breach of the security truce.

The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) stated that Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, endorsed the recommendation of the Chief of Staff, the COGAT and the security authorities, to completely close Gaza’s fishing zone.

The COGAT said this was in response to rockets fired from Gaza to the Sderot settlement last night and the continued launch of incendiary balloons.

The Committee for Documenting Violations Against Fishermen said that the Israeli navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats and pumped water at them, forcing fishermen to return to shore without warning.

According to rights group B’Tselem, in 2000, Gaza had about 10,000 fishermen, however this dropped to some 4,000 registered fishermen in 2018, who are the breadwinners for approximately 50,000 persons. Of those, more than half are now out of work.

“Ninety-five percent of Gaza’s fishermen live under the poverty line, defined as a monthly income of less than 2,293 ILS (roughly 600 USD) for a family of five. These families rely on humanitarian aid, and belong to the 80% of Gaza’s overall population who rely on humanitarian aid,” it added.