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Israel cuts Gaza fishing zone again after new fire balloons

Published: June 6, 2019
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Source: RT

Israel has cut the fishing zone it allows off Gaza in the third such response in a fortnight to Palestinian incendiary balloons.

As of Wednesday, the fishing limit for Gaza fishermen had been reduced from a maximum of 15 nautical miles to 10, AFP reported, citing an Israeli official.

Incendiary balloons from Gaza caused three blazes on Tuesday, according to a spokesperson for the Israeli fire service. They reportedly followed Israel’s move to restore the limit to 15 miles after a previous reduction in response to fire balloons last week.

The limit of up to 15 nautical miles set ahead of Israel’s April general election is the largest allowed in years. Human rights activists say it falls short of the 20 nautical miles agreed under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.

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A decision by the Israeli military to scale down the permitted fishing zone in the besieged Gaza Strip comes as "no surprise" to the enclave's 4,000 fishermen. "The decision did not come as a surprise. The occupation always backs down from agreements that affect fishermen in the strip," Zakaria Bakr, head of Gaza's fishermen's union, told Al Jazeera. Citing an alleged rocket attack, the Israeli army said on Tuesday fishing in Gaza would only be permitted up to six nautical miles (11km) until further notice.

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