Video: Along with Israeli attacks, Gaza fishermen face new danger from Egyptian navy

In this video report for The Real News Network, Yousef Al-Helou speaks to Gaza fishermen, including survivors of recent Egyptian naval attacks, and the father of two fishermen who were arrested.

Many Palestinians in Gaza depend on the sea for their livelihood, but fishing has become increasingly difficult and dangerous as Israeli attacks on fishermen have reduced the zone where they can fish to just six nautical miles from Gaza’s shore.

This is a violation of the Oslo agreement which sets the fishing zone at 20 nautical miles.

For the past few years, Gaza fisherman were allowed to cross into Egyptian waters under the supervision of Egyptian forces, according to Nizar Ayyash, head of the Gaza fishermen’s syndicate.

This helped relieve the pressure as catches shrunk.

But since the 3 July military coup that overthrew Morsi, Palestinian fishermen from Gaza have come under unprecedented attack by Egyptian naval forces and at least three have been injured.

Ayyash said the attacks came without any warning. “We never expected from our Egyptian brothers to open fire on us,” Ayyash said.

Five others were arrested and an Egyptian military court sentenced them to a year in jail, allegedly for fishing in Egyptian waters.

In a new attempt to break Israel’s tight blockade, activists in Gaza are working to transform a fishing boat into “Gaza’s Ark” which will attempt to set sail from Gaza to export goods.

Due to the Israeli siege, virtually no Palestinian-produced goods are allowed out of Gaza.

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I'm not sure, but Egypt's policy might follow an agenda.
Powerful Israeli pressure groups are willing to annex whole Palestine.
Could be within their plan to give Gaza to Egypt then.
May be they see it as a weight they prefer to lose.
Could be that Egypt rejects this by closing the borders to Gaza and leaving the whole responsibility to Israel.

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Besieged Palestinian Gaza is an experiment in provocation. Stuff one and a half million people into a tiny space, stifle their access to water, electricity, food and medical treatment, destroy their livelihoods, and humiliate them regularly...and, surprise, surprise - they turn hostile. Now why would you want to make that experiment? Because the hostility you provoke is the whole point. Now under attack you can cast yourself as the victim, and call out the helicopter gunships and the F16 attack fighters and the heavy tanks and the guided missiles, and destroy yet more of the pathetic remains of infrastructure that the Palestinian state still has left. And then you can point to it as a hopeless case, unfit to govern itself, a terrorist state, a state with which you couldn't possibly reach an accommodation. And then you can carry on with business as usual, quietly stealing their homeland.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.