Palestinian fishermen have taken part in a nautical protest against the restrictions placed on them by Israel. Hundreds of fishermen and activists took part in the demonstration which saw boats stretching hundreds of metres out to sea.
Although the international norm for territorial waters is 12 nautical miles, Israel imposed a three mile limit on Palestinian fishermen as part of its siege and blockade of the Gaza Strip. That limit was supposed to have been eased to six miles as part of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian government in Gaza after the Israelis’ offensive against the territory in November. The new reduction back to three miles was imposed after claims that a rocket was fired from Gaza during Barack Obama’s visit to Israel last month.
Speaking after the demonstration, the head of the Committee for Lifting the Siege on Gaza, Dr Jamal Al-Khodari, accused Israel of violating international human rights conventions with its siege, which amounts to collective punishment on the civilian population. “And that,” he added, “is a crime against humanity.”
Dr Al-Khodari noted that Israel has arrested 44 fishermen and seized eight vessels since signing the ceasefire agreement in November.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad