REDUCTION OF GAZA FISHING ZONE AN 'ILLEGAL COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT' | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

REDUCTION OF GAZA FISHING ZONE AN 'ILLEGAL COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT'

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.

The move came after Israel extended the zone to a maximum of 15 nautical miles on April 1 as part of an Egypt-brokered ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip.

The decision was in response to a rocket fired by the Islamic Jihad group late on Monday, the Israeli army said in a statement on Tuesday, an allegation the Palestinian group denies.

"Israel's accusations are part of a smear campaign against the Islamic Jihad movement," Islamic Jihad spokesman Mosaab al-Breim told Al Jazeera.

"It is also part of its psychological warfare that it has long waged against the Palestinian people … The Islamic Jihad's armed wing did not confirm a launch of a rocket towards the [Israeli] occupation," he said.

Bakr of the fishermen's union said Israel's decision comes at a critical time, and that the ceasefire agreement failed to ease Israel's crippling blockade of the strip.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israel doesn't want to be seen as a killer of Palestinians, one by one, as the optics of such an act would be frightful; but having Palestinians slowly starving in Gaza, quietly, because of this restriction?!?

Now, THAT is something the Knesset can really get behind!!!!!

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