Israel restores Gaza fishing zone to ease humanitarian crisis

The move came just three days after Israel had reduced the offshore fishing limits in response to Palestinians floating balloons fitted with incendiaries over the border. (File/AFP)
Updated 26 May 2019
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Israel restores Gaza fishing zone to ease humanitarian crisis

  • COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations, said the fishing zone was being “expanded to 15 nautical miles”
  • It restores the fishing zone to the limits set in April ahead of Israel’s general election, and is the largest allowed in years

JERUSALEM: Israel said it eased on Sunday fishing restrictions off the blockaded Gaza Strip with the aim of preventing a deterioration in humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian enclave.
The move came just three days after Israel had reduced the offshore fishing limits in response to Palestinians floating balloons fitted with incendiaries over the border.
COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations, said the fishing zone was being “expanded to 15 nautical miles,” back up from 10.
It restores the fishing zone to the limits set in April ahead of Israel’s general election, and is the largest allowed in years.
“This measure is part of the civilian policy for prevention of deterioration in humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip and is consistent with the policy of distinguishing between terrorists and the unimplicated population,” COGAT said in a statement.
Palestinians in Gaza have frequently floated balloons fitted with firebombs over the border to damage Israeli property and have succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.
The additional nautical miles are important to Gaza fishermen as they bring more valuable, deeper water species within reach.
Around 80 percent of Palestinians in impoverished Gaza are reliant on international aid, according to the United Nations.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since Hamas assumed power over the enclave more than a decade ago.
Four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, were killed in an escalation earlier this month.
According to reports, a May 6 cease-fire included Israel taking steps to ease its blockade on Gaza, while Hamas in return would calm border protests.


New water project launches in Yemen

Updated 34 min 30 sec ago
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New water project launches in Yemen

  • The project will benefit more than 30,000 people
  • It will allow for water to be provided continuously over 24-hours

DUBAI: A new UAE-funded project to improve water production capacity was launched on Sunday in Yemen’s port city of Mocha, news agency WAM said on Monday.
The new project, by the UAE-run Emirates Red Crescent in Yemen, consists of two artesian wells connected to a generator and two storage tanks and will be connected to the main water distribution network.
The project will benefit more than 30,000 residents of Mocha and nearby areas. It will also allow water to be provided on a 24-hour basis, the Director-General of the city Sultan Abdullah Mahmoud said.