The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that 14 fishermen from a single family, stationed just three nautical miles from the coast of the Gaza Strip, were all arrested on 1 December.
Some fishermen were only two miles off Gaza’s coast when they were attacked with machine gun fire and arrested by the Israeli navy. Ranging from the ages of 14 to 52, the majority in their late teens and early twenties, these fishermen come from some of Gaza’s poorest families (“In new violation of ceasefire, Israeli forces arrest 14 fishermen and confiscate three fishing boats,” 2 December 2012).
According to Mifleh Abu Riyala, a representative of the General Syndicate of Marine Fishermen, the ceasefire has made no difference to Palestinian fishermen.
Palestinians are allowed, under the current Israel-Hamas ceasefire, “to fish six miles out,” he said, “but the Israeli gunboats still attack us, whether we are six or three miles out.”
The Oslo accords granted Palestinian fishermen the right to fish twenty nautical miles out at sea — a right the Israeli navy has unilaterally vetoed, downsizing the fishing “limits” since the 1990s to a mere three miles until last month’s ceasefire allowed a slight increase to six nautical miles....