Israel’s militarily enforced closure of the Gaza Strip is closing its fifth year and Gaza’s fishermen continue to suffer at the hands of this brutal, illegal, and inhumane policy.
The closure regime’s policy includes a naval blockade under which Gaza fishermen are only permitted to fish within a narrow zone limited to three nautical miles.
This policy violates international laws requiring an occupying power to ensure the way of life and the rights of occupied peoples are not disrupted.
It further violates the Oslo Accords, which stipulate that Gaza fishermen be granted access to a zone of the sea expanding 20 nautical miles from the shore.
In 2002, the Israeli military reduced the permitted fishing zone to 12 nautical miles.
In 2006, the fishing zone was reduced to 6 nautical miles.
Ultimately, after Israel’s military incursion of 2009, codenamed “Operation Cast Lead,” the Israeli military set in place the policy that is still in force today: the reduction of the Gazan fishing zone to only 3 nautical miles.