Israel expands Gaza fishing zone to ease humanitarian conditions

Israel says it is acting to distinguish between its fight against terror and helping innocent civilians.

By World Israel News Staff 

Israel announced Tuesday that it will expand the fishing zone off the coast of the Gaza Strip to 15 nautical miles “in order to prevent a deterioration in the humanitarian situation” in the Hamas-ruled territory.

The Israeli statement stressed that the decision is part of a “policy that distinguishes between terror and the population that is not involved” in anti-Israel violence.

It has been an on-again off-again mechanism used by Israel: reducing the zone when there is a flare-up of violence from Gaza, and expanding it when understandings are reached to maintain a state of calm.

The current timing is the aftermath of Israel’s hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest last week.

The event was cited as a consideration in the Israeli decision to avoid an escalation in early May despite the launching of some 700 rockets into Israel by Gazan terrorists.

Hamas had threatened to disrupt the week-long Eurovision extravaganza in which 41 countries competed.

The expansion of the fishing zone had been reported as part of a six-month ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and Hamas but both sides later denied this.