Egyptian, Israeli measures not auguring well for Gaza fishing season

Al Ray Agencies | Sept 13, 2013

Gaza, ALRAY – Beside the old new Israeli attacks against the hundreds of fishermen of the five Gaza governorates, the dawning status quo in Egypt seem to have its impact on the lives of fishermen.

The shortage of smuggled fuel due to the accelerated crackdown on border tunnels by the Egyptian military forces happened to significantly affect fishing season in Gaza.

Moreover, as the new Egyptian military rulers had assumed authority, the fishermen were surprisingly attacked by the Egyptian navy and banned to fish in the few nautical miles of Egyptian waters allowed for them during Morsi’s rule.

Unfortunate Season

Zakaria Baker, Head of Agricultural Work Committees Union, said that the sardine fishing season is one of the most important seasons for fishermen.

“Sardine fishing is the main season awaited by fisherman over the year to improve their income, and buy the necessary fishing equipment,” he added.

The sardines account for 58% of the total fish production which amount to 2245 tons per year, according to the Department of Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture.

The fishing season begins in September, which is the peak fishing month for the fishermen, says Director of Fisheries Department in Ministry of Agriculture, Jihad Salah.

“Given the interrupted flow of Egyptian diesel to the Gaza Strip, and the Israeli occupation violations against fishermen in the Gaza Strip become more frequent in fishing seasons,” he added, noting that “the Israeli gunboats stepped up its firing attacks with the beginning of this season, which would gravely affect sardine fishing,”

Renewed Israeli Violations

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said in its most recent report that it recorded shootings, detentions and confiscation of fishing tools during July. Although Israeli authorities reduced the fishing zone to 6 nautical miles, they neither complied with that distance nor allowed Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip to sail and fish freely, and continued their attacks against them.

After November 2012 Israeli offensive, 58 fishermen had been captured by Israeli navy, and returned after their equipment confiscated, Nizar Ayyash Head of Fishermen Association told Norway’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth who visited Gaza on August 28th.

Even though Israel expanded the fishing zone from 3 to 6 miles in May 2013, the attacks across the Gaza waters all took place within the 6 miles allowed “PCHR documented all attacks carried out within the distance of 6 nautical miles, which proves that Israeli forces’ policies aim to tighten restrictions on the Gaza Strip’s fishermen and their sources of livelihood,” said the report.

Nearly 3700 fishermen with 70.000 family members rely on fishing as their profession. They run about 700 fishing boats.

Israeli authorities, citing security-related pretexts, maintain a naval blockade of the enclave imposing a catch limit of six nautical miles in violation of the PA-Israel Agreement which specified 20 miles.

Egyptian Fire

Last week, two Palestinian fishermen were wounded at dawn and five arrested when an Egyptian boat of naval police attacked their fishing boats across the Rafah Sea in the southern Gaza Strip, close to the maritime border with Egypt.

The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported earlier that the Egyptian military banned fishing in the area of the northern Sinai towns of Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid and El-Arish as from July 18.

Head of the Palestinian Syndicate of Fishermen in Gaza, Nizar Ayesh, said then “the Egyptian authorities didn’t officially inform the Palestinian side of the decision to ban sailing in the Egyptian waters,”

Fuel Shortage

Nowadays, fishermen are seen sitting along the Gaza port after they run out of fuel or diesel fuel smuggled through the tunnels to run their boats, and cannot afford buying the high price of Israeli fuel as an alternative.

For his part, Nizar Ayyash said that 80% of fishermen has become workless in light of the lack of Egyptian diesel fuel.

Ministry of Agriculture, says Jihad Salah, managed to secure small quotas of diesel fuel for fishermen in the few past days to help them not lose this season as usual, but if would the current shortage keeps in place, the current crisis would reach a tipping point.





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Martyred By Israeli Occupation Attacks

انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون

May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shuhada Jannatul Firdaus, and ease it for their families, loved ones and anyone around them. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen. ‘ Inna Lillahi wa ‘ Inna ‘ Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar


* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.

For an overview of All Israeli Massacres Palestinians go here

Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.

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