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Israeli gunships fire at Palestinian fishing boats

February 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm

At dawn on Wednesday, Israeli gunships fired live ammunition at Palestinian fishermen fishing along the Gaza shores, witnesses have said.

Witnesses reported seeing thick fire in the sky in the direction Palestinian fishermen fishing within the three nautical miles radius permitted by Israel. No causalities have been reported.

In 2006, the Israeli occupation reduced the area Gazan fishermen were permitted to fish within following Hamas’ Palestinian Legislative Council electoral victory and the subsequent imposition of the blockade on the Sector.

In the wake of the prisoners exchange agreement reached between Israel and Palestinian fighters in late 2011, the distance was expanded to six nautical miles. However, several weeks ago it was again reduced to only three miles after Israel claimed that two rockets had been launched at Israeli cities.

Israel cut off Gaza’s sea contact with the outside world since the 1967 occupation and reinforced this disconnection with the Oslo agreement signed with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in 1993.

In the agreement, fishermen were to be allowed to venture 20 nautical miles offshore, however, this was reduced to 12 miles by the beginning of the 2000 intifada. It was then reduced again within the context of the 2006 siege.