Israel reopens Gaza crossings, removes ban on access to the fishing zone


The fishermen’s port in Gaza. Photo by Gisha

May 12, 2019. One week after the latest escalation of hostilities between Israel and Gaza, as of this morning the pedestrian crossing Erez in northern Gaza and commercial crossing Kerem Shalom in the south of the Strip were reopened by Israel and are now operating as usual, subject to Israel’s restrictive access policy.

Israel also removed its ban on access to Gaza’s territorial waters, and is currently allowing fishermen to reach up to a distance of 12 nautical miles in the area of sea stretching between Deir Al Balah and Rafah.The fishing zone in the area between Deir Al Balah and the fisherman’s port is limited to 12 nautical miles. The northern area of the fishing zone, which the Gaza fishermen’s union describes as being the richest in terms of the catch of fish available, is still limited to only six nautical miles off the coast of Gaza.

Media reports quoted the head of the fishermen’s union in Gaza, Zakaria Bakr, confirming that yesterday the Israeli navy stopped a boat at a distance of 9 nautical miles from shore and arrested three fishermen, all members of the same family.