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The easing of Gaza fishing restrictions meets Israel’s security needs, not fishermen’s interests

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The head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, revealed on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation authorities have handed over a time frame for the implementation of the terms of the truce deal reached between the two sides under Egyptian and UN sponsorship. Hamas made public the terms of the truce, which included an increase in the number of truckloads carrying commodities to Gaza; allowing medical supplies to get to hospitals; easing restrictions on imports and exports; the entry of some materials currently banned by Israel on the grounds that they could be used for making weapons; an easing of the restricted fishing zone; carrying out strategic infrastructure projects in Gaza; and the expansion of a UN job creation programme to cover 40,000 workers.

The Israeli time frame indicated that some of these terms would be implemented before the General Election slated for 9 April; others are to be implemented after the election, while the third group would be implemented long term because they need years to materialise.

READ: Israel bans fishing off Gaza’s coast for 4th consecutive day

Expansion of the zone in which Palestinian fishermen are allowed to work is one of the few terms to be implemented before the election, Haniyeh said. He pointed out that this should have been changed as from Monday. The Israeli government announced that the fishing zone was being extended up to six nautical miles (approximately 11 kilometres) in the nearest section of Gaza’s territorial waters to the nominal border with Israel........

© Middle East Monitor