Palestinian Agency Maan reports that Israeli patrol boat off the coast of Gaza detained four fishermen for violating the border zone allowed for fishing.
The source indicated that the incident occurred near the Northern part of the Gaza strip, near Beit Lahiya. It is alleged that the military confiscated the boat.
The press service of the IDF does not comment on the incident.
In August last year the Deputy commander of the naval base in Ashdod, the captain of the 2nd rank (Lieutenant Colonel) Elad Marom in an interview with NEWSru.co.il explained: «It’s about the control of designated marine fishing space. Fishing is one of the main sources of income for the residents of Gaza. For this purpose, open area for 12 miles from shore (not miles – approx.ed.). According to the Oslo agreement, they were allocated a zone of six kilometers, which after the operation «pillar of Cloud» was extended to twelve miles. During operation «protective edge» all these rules were frozen, and starting from 5 am on 27 August, the residents of Gaza can once again go to sea for 12 km, which is approximately six nautical miles». Our interlocutor explained that the requirement for the extension of fishery zones to 12 miles really «was signed by the Palestinians during the negotiations, however, was not satisfied, and everything remained as it was before». «I am confident that they will continue to demand to expand this area, and we, in turn, will oppose this, because such a step would further complicate our task, would require additional forces and means in order to maintain control over such a large area», – explained then Elad Marom.
Fishermen have the opportunity to move freely by sea from Gaza side of Rafah, which is about 12-13 miles, and in the open sea for another 6 miles.
According to the Maroma, the main problem is not in the attempts of fishermen outside the permitted zone, and that under the guise of «innocent» fishing boats to the Israeli warships could approach the boat with the terrorists: «Therefore, in such situations, we react immediately: first, encourage them to return to the permitted area, then block off the road, and then open a warning fire. In rare cases it comes to the need to capture the ship».