November 26, 2012

ADVANCE LOUDLY, RETREAT QUIETLY:

Under the radar, Israel eases restrictions on Gaza (ELHANAN MILLER, November 26, 2012, Times of Israel)

Nizar Ayyash, the head of Gaza's fisherman's union, told The Times of Israel that since Saturday, the Israeli navy has allowed Palestinian fishermen to fish up to six nautical miles from the coast, doubling the previously allowed fishing zone.

"The Israeli army has moved the buoys to mark the new boundary," Ayyash said, "but the fishermen are still harassed and shots are fired now and then."

"It is not entirely clear to us what the new arrangements are," said Sari Bashi, director of Gisha, an Israeli organization that deals with Palestinian freedom of movement, noting that her organization obtains all information about measures on the ground from Gaza locals, not the Israeli government. Gisha reported that Gaza Strip farmers were also allowed this week to come within 100 meters (110 yards) of the border with Israel and tend to their farms.

Before the recent escalation, the official "no-go" area on the Gaza side of the border was 300 meters, but at times stretched as far as 1,500 meters into the Strip, comprising 35 percent of Gaza's arable land, Gisha reported.

A spokesman for the IDF declined The Times of Israel's request to comment on any new Israeli government regulations concerning Gaza. The Israeli government was also tight-lipped about specific  arrangements.
Posted by at November 26, 2012 7:48 PM
  
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