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Years later, Israel returns Gaza fisherman's boat – damaged, without a motor by Jack Khoury July 06,2019   |  Source: Haaretz

Following a legal battle and three years of waiting, Israel gave Gaza fisherman Abdul-Muti al-Habil his fishing boat back. Al-Habil is one of 21 Palestinian fishermen whose boats were recently returned after Israel confiscated them, claiming they had breached the allocated fishing zone.

But the fishermen are not ready to rejoice just yet. They may have gotten their vessels back, and their livelihood, but according to the representative of the Strip's fishermen, the boats were returned without their motors and nets, and some of them are visibly damaged.

"It's like getting a corpse without a heart," said fishermen representative Nazer Ayesh. "These boats without motors and nets can't be put to use by any fisherman." According to Ayesh, a motor costs about $7,000 in Gaza, and nets as well as other equipment can cost up to an additional $3,000 at the very least. "If the body of the boat is damaged that's even more expenses. Go find a fisherman who can afford this sum. These are already poor families who can hardly make a living," Ayesh said.

In the coming weeks, Israel is expected to return some 40 more boats it is holding. The return of the boats is part of understandings that were reached between Israel and Hamas last month, but the struggle to retrieve them began six

 

© Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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