Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after rocket launch

Israel has earlier extended the limit to 15 nautical miles to calm a flare-up violence with Hamas. (AFP/File)
Updated 30 April 2019
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Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after rocket launch

  • The new limit went down from 15 nautical miles to six
  • Israeli officials attribute the rocket to a militant group in Gaza

JERUSALEM: Israel reduced the offshore fishing limit it imposes for vessels operating out of Gaza from Tuesday following rocket fire from the territory by Palestinian militants, officials said.
Gaza fishermen will now be able to operate no more than six nautical miles into the Mediterranean, down from a limit of up to 15 nautical miles Israel had enforced since April 1.
The Israeli defense ministry unit that oversees civil matters in the Palestinian territories, said the new limit would be in force “until further notice.”
A COGAT spokeswoman said the decision was taken in the light of a rocket launch from Gaza late on Monday.
A military spokeswoman said the rocket fell into the Mediterranean, a few kilometers off the Israeli coast.
An army source said the rocket was fired by Gaza’s second largest militant group, Islamic Jihad, an ally of the territory’s rulers Hamas.
The source alleged that in recent weeks Islamic Jihad had been “taking steps to harm” efforts to maintain a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
But the source underlined that the evidence Islamic Jihad had fired the rocket would not affect Israel’s longstanding policy of holding Hamas responsible as Gaza’s de facto ruler.
“We still consider Hamas responsible for whatever happens in the (Gaza) Strip,” the source said.
Israel had extended the fishing limit to 15 nautical miles in some areas from April 1 as part of a package of measures intended to calm a flare-up of violence with Hamas ahead of the April 9 Israeli general election.
The Gaza fishermen’s union said the limit was then set at 15 nautical miles in the south near the Egyptian border, at 12 off central Gaza and at six in the north near the Israeli border.
Israel has fought three wars with Gaza militants since 2008 and has blockaded the territory for more than a decade.


Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq's Basra

Updated 1 min 46 sec ago
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Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq's Basra

BASRA: A rocket landed at the headquarters of several global major oil companies, including US giant ExxonMobil, in Iraq’s southern city of Basra early on Wednesday, wounding two Iraqi workers, police said.

The rocket hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of Basra, they said.

A security source said Exxon was preparing to evacuate some 20 foreign staff immediately.

Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italian Eni SpA, oil officials said.

Iraq's southern oil operations including export are not affected by rocket incident in Basra, officials said.

(developing)