The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has condemned an Israeli decision to once again decrease the fishing area to 6 nautical miles, off the area from the Gaza Valley to Rafah City in the south. According to the Israeli decision, Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip are banned from sailing and fishing freely, and denied access to the areas where fish breed.

Nizar ‘Ayash, Head of the General Union of Fishing Workers in the Gaza Strip, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that, on Monday, 11 December, 2017, the Israeli authorities informed the Palestinian Civil Affairs Authority of decreasing the fishing area to 6 nautical miles from the Gaza Valley to Rafah City in the south. The decision was set to enter into force at 15:00 on Tuesday, 12 December, 2017, restricting fishermen and their movement in the Gaza waters. It should be mentioned that Israeli authorities previously allowed the Palestinian fishermen to sail up to 9 nautical miles in the above-mentioned area on 03 May, 2017.

PCHR further emphasized, according to the PNN, that the Israeli decision against Palestinian fishermen is in violation of the right to work, according to Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

PCHR called upon the Israeli authorities to immediately reverse the decision to decrease the fishing area, and to enable fishermen to fish and sail freely, especially in that they do not pose a threat to Israeli authorities; and celled upon the international community to pressure Israeli authorities to end the naval blockade that led to the deterioration of the fishermen and their families’ living conditions, and to stop all violations against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

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