Meaningless Israeli Gesture
by Stephen Lendman
Effective 2:00AM Sunday morning, Israel extended permitted offshore Gaza fishing waters from six to nine nautical miles - no change north of Wadi Gaza.
Gaza is sovereign Palestinian territory. Offshore territorial waters extend to 12 nautical miles, according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Oslo extended Palestinian territorial waters for economic activity (mainly fishing) to 20 nautical miles offshore.
Israel changes Gaza's permitted fishing zone at its discretion, at times restricting it to three nautical miles offshore.
It routinely attacks or harasses Palestinian fishermen at sea operating within permitted territorial waters on a near-daily basis.
Incidents go virtually unreported. The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported at least 139 incidents of Israeli naval forces using live fire on defenseless Palestinian fishermen in 2015 - killing three, wounding dozens, arresting 71, damaging 16 or more vessels and confiscating 22 others along with their gear.
IDF claims about deterring potential "security threats" are bald-faced lies. A near-decade of suffocating blockade and three wars of aggression destroyed Gaza's economy, put about a third of its most arable land off-limits to agriculture and other use.
Gazans pose no threat to Israel, blockade imposed for political, not security reasons. Its fishermen go to sea solely to earn a living.
Flagrant Israeli violations continue, international law ignored. Extending Gaza's territorial waters affords its fishermen no added safety. Going to sea endangers their lives, safety and welfare.
Israel's Sunday gesture was hollow - made at the same time soldiers and police continue extrajudicially executing Palestinians on a virtual daily basis, state terror enforced throughout the Territories.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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