Gazan fishermen
Gazan fishermen
Photo: Reuters
Gazan fishermen

Israel to expand Gaza fishing zone, add entry permits

Military liaison to the Palestinians says fresh set of leniencies coming into effect is contingent upon maintaining calm from recent days

Ynet |
Published: 02.18.20 , 19:36
Israel will extend the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip back to 15 nautical miles from the coast and provide additional 2,000 entry permits from the Strip into Israel following a period of relative calm, according to a statement by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) on Tuesday.
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  • This fresh set of leniencies raises the total number of permits to an unprecedented 7,000.
    The decision lifts a new host of sanctions recently imposed on the coastal enclave following a period of heightened tensions, which included regular rocket fire and the launching of explosive devices into Israel using balloons.
    The sanctions include restricting the permitted fishing zone down to 10 nautical miles and cutting some 500 entry permits for merchants into Israel from Gaza.
    Gazan fishermen Gazan fishermen
    Gazan fishermen
    (Photo: Reuters)
    COGAT Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun said in a statement that these leniencies coming into effect is contingent upon maintaining the relative calm from recent days.
    "So long as the quiet is preserved, Israel will act accordingly,” Rukun said.
    Despite a relatively silent period, an RPG warhead attached to a plastic bag was discovered earlier Tuesday in an orchard in Kibbutz Alumim in the Sdot Negev Regional Council, which borders the Gaza Strip.
    Police sappers, who arrived at the scene, defused the device. There were no reports of casualties or damage.
    בפרדס ליד קיבוץ עלומים אותר כעת בלון שנשא ראש של RPGבפרדס ליד קיבוץ עלומים אותר כעת בלון שנשא ראש של RPG
    RPG warhead found in Kibbutz Alumim
    It remains unclear when the warhead landed in the area and for how long it remained there before being spotted.
    On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with local leaders of communities bordering the Gaza Strip, saying that launching a wide-scale operation in the Hamas-controlled enclave two weeks before the national elections would be difficult.
    “Before the elections, it would be difficult to open a significant military campaign,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying.
    He added, however, that Israel is prepared for war should the situation on the ground require it.
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