Egyptian naval forces have shot dead two Palestinian fishermen, and wounded and arrested a third on Friday after they allegedly crossed into Egyptian territorial waters, Anadolu Agency reported.
According to Nizar Ayyash, head of Gaza’s fishermen union, the Egyptian navy followed the fishermen’s boat and opened fire on them after crossing into the Egyptian waters.
Ayyash added that the three fishermen are brothers and live in Deir Al-Balah, a city in central Gaza.
Coordinator of the Fishermen Committee Zakariya Baker told Ma’an News Agency that the three fishermen entered the sea on Thursday evening and were fired at on Friday morning.
Spokesman of the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza Iyad Al-Bozom disclosed that his ministry’s services had been looking into the information on the disappearances of three fishermen.
“When the Oslo Accord was signed between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993, Palestinians were told that one of the many fruits of peace would be the expansion of Gaza’s fishing zone – up to 20 nautical miles (approximately 37 km), precisely,” wrote Palestinian journalist and author of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud.
“Like the rest of Oslo’s broken promises, the fishing agreement was never honored, either. Instead, up to 2006, the Israeli military allowed Gazans to fish within a zone that never exceeded 12 nautical miles. In 2007, when Israel imposed its ongoing siege on Gaza, the fishing zone was reduced even further, first to six nautical miles and, eventually, to three,” Baroud added.
In November 2018, the Egyptian navy opened fire on Palestinian fishermen over the same allegation, killing one of them.
However, in January 2019, the Palestinian navy in Gaza saved six Egyptian fishermen after a storm dragged their boat into Palestinian waters and celebrated them as champions, before allowing them to go back to Egypt.
According to the fishermen’s union, roughly 50,000 Gazans earn their living through fishing.
(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)