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Fluctuating fishing regulations a net frustration for Gaza’s industry by Adam Rasgon June 21,2019   |  Source: The Times of Israel

Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip expressed great frustration this week with the constant changes Israel has made to the permitted fishing zone off the coast of the small territory, which they contended amount to a policy of collective punishment.

The number of shifts just this past month was dizzying: Israel increased the fishing zone to 15 nautical miles (17.2 miles or 27.8 kilometers) on May 21, reduced it to 10 on May 23, expanded it to 15 on May 26, decreased it to 10 on May 29, widened it to 15 on June 4, dropped it to 10 on June 6, shrunk it to 6 on June 11, completely closed it on June 12 and most recently boosted it to 10 on June 18.

Israeli security officials have said the frequent amendments are a response to the increases and decreases in flaming balloons and, in some cases, rockets that Palestinians in Gaza have launched into the Jewish state’s territory. Arson balloons have destroyed thousands of acres of Israeli farmland.

But Nizar Ayyash, the 63-year-old head of the Fishermen’s Union in Gaza, said he does not understand why Israel makes fishermen in the coastal enclave pay the price for incendiary balloons they are not responsible for.

“Fishermen work in the sea. Have you seen balloons coming from the sea?” Ayyash, who has fished off the

Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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