4 Gaza fishermen arrested by Israel Naval Patrol

Israeli naval forces detain 4 Palestinian fishermen and seize their boats near Beit Lahiya, in the northern strip, after they crossed Gaza’s designated fishing zone.

By Associated Press


The Israeli navy has arrested four Palestinian fishermen and seized their boat after they crossed the zone designated for fishing, in one of the first instances of friction between the sides since the Gaza war ended last month.

Israeli Patrol watching Gaza fishermen along Gaza's border - Photo by Rosa_Schiano

Israeli Patrol watching Gaza fishermen along Gaza’s border – Photo: Rosa_Schiano

Nizar Ayyash of the Gaza Fishermen’s Union says the incident occurred on Tuesday off the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya.

The four were taken for questioning at the Ashdod naval base.

Israel and Hamas-led militants in Gaza ended 50 days of intensive fighting on Aug. 26 and committed to enter into indirect truce talks in Cairo aimed at developing a sustainable roadmap for the future of the densely-populated coastal territory.

As part of the cease-fire deal that halted the fighting, Israel doubled the maritime area in which Gaza fishermen are permitted to operate from five to nine kilometers (three to six miles).

Israel has also hinted at its willingness to consider an additional doubling of the maritime area permitted to Gaza fishermen as part of its efforts to improve overall economic conditions there.

But it remains wary of allowing the fishermen open-ended access to the Mediterranean Sea, fearing their boats could be used to smuggle weapons and weapons-manufacturing materials for use by Hamas militants.


Yoav Zitun contributed to this report.

View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4569049,00.html