Video: Gaza’s lifeline is the sea

Rashad al-Hissi has been fishing in the Gaza sea for 60 years.

“We have inherited this profession from our fathers and grandfathers,” he told The Electronic Intifada.

“I have a 12-year-old son, he goes to school. On Thursdays, he comes home early. He joins his siblings in the sea.”

Over the years, al-Hissi has seen fish populations decrease.

With waste treatment out of commission in Gaza, raw sewage is being dumped into the Mediterranean.

That has been catastrophic for Gaza’s fishers, who are restricted by the Israeli military to an area within six nautical miles from the shore.

In July, Israeli authorities announced a reduction of the fishing zone from six to three nautical miles. That was part of a series of devastating collective punishments that included shutting down Gaza’s only commercial goods crossing and stopping supplies of fuel and cooking gas.

In January 2017, al-Hissi loaned his boat to his cousin Muhammad to fish in the Gaza sea.

An Israeli navy vessel rammed the boat, capsizing it.

The boat was never found and Muhammad is presumed dead.

Israeli forces are currently holding more than 40 boats they have confiscated from their owners, according to the Palestinian fishers union in Gaza.

Video by Ruwaida Amer and Sanad Ltefa.