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Monday, April 4, 2016, 11:29

Israel extends fishing area for Gaza fishermen

By Xinhua
Israel extends fishing area for Gaza fishermen
Palestinian fishing boat s are seen at the sea port in Gaza City on April 1, 2016. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

GAZA - Israel on Sunday expanded the distance it permits for around 4,000 Gaza fishermen from six nautical miles to nine miles along central and southern shores of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli authorities said the relaxation of measures imposed on fishermen should result in a bigger catch in deeper waters where fish are more abundant.

Israel kept the northern area close to its borders with Gaza at six miles in fear that the military Hamas that controls Gaza movement would use the area for weapon smuggling.

Palestinian fishermen have been complaining about frequent Israeli interceptions and arrests of fishermen after damaging their fishing boats and confiscating their equipment.

Officials, however, called the expansion of the fishing zone "not enough," adding that before 2007 when Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip, fishermen were allowed to fish at 20 nautical miles.

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