The Palestinian government in Gaza has given the enclave's fishermen new equipment which has been donated by the Qatar Charity. The new net-pulling motors and other essential items were handed over in a small ceremony in the Port of Gaza attended by officials from the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture and Qatar.
The help packages were funded by the Qatari Government under a support protocol signed between the Ministry and the Qatar Charity. The Charity agreed to upgrade the equipment used by the fishermen, as well as to provide assistance to the families of those killed or wounded by the Israeli gunboats which enforce a unilaterally declared 3 mile limit beyond which they won't allow fisherman to sail. The international community recognises a 12 mile limit of territorial waters around the world, Gaza's coastline included.
The support protocol is part of a comprehensive programme designed to improve food security in Palestine. The programme is supervised by the Qatari Foreign Ministry.
Speaking at the port ceremony, the representative of the Qatar Charity, Khalid al-Wakeel, said, "We are trying to afford proportionate work opportunities to the Gaza fishermen who suffer because of the continuous Israeli attacks against them."
Agriculture Minister Ali Tarshawi expressed his thanks to the Qatari government and charity for all that they are doing for the people of Palestine.
About 70,000 Palestinians depend on fishing and related industries, including the families of more than 3,500 fishermen in Gaza, who operate out of around 700 fishing boats.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad