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Why does the IDF hold Gazan fishermen responsible for rocket launching?

Fishermen sell their daily catch near the Gaza City Harbor, January 2013 (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The IDF will allow Gaza fishermen to go beyond three-mile zone previously imposed on them and up to six miles into the Mediterranean Sea, it announced on Tuesday. Under the Oslo Accords, Gaza’s maritime boundaries stretch 20 nautical miles from shore. However, as a part of its blockade policy, Israel does not allow fishermen to travel beyond a narrow strip of three to six miles – an area which changes at the discretion of the government and defense minister.

The Gaza strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world (see map below) and fishing constitutes an important source of food and employment for many.

The IDF Spokesperson’s announcement on Tuesday basically confirmed that the army collectively punishes Gazan fishermen for rockets launched from the Strip.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, approved the expansion of the Gaza Strip’s designated fishing zone from three to six nautical miles. The designated fishing zone was limited due to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel on March 21, 2013.

Recent attempts to launch rockets from the Strip have been carried out by tiny radical organizations that even Hamas has trouble to controlling. So why are Gaza’s fishermen being punished for it?

Related
WATCH: Gaza children prohibited from visiting imprisoned fathers
IDF: ‘Forbidden zone’ in Gaza three times larger than previously stated
‘Wars on Gaza have become part of Israel’s system of governance’: An interview with filmmaker Yotam Feldman

Gaza map and IDF imposed “forbidden zones” (by Gisha)

 

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Joe

      Because it can? Does it need a reason?

      Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        The most telling incident was when IDF rocketed Gaza in the retaliation for a drone that reached Negev after “appearing” mysteriously over the sea and flying over Gaza. Even IDF spokesmen did not suggest that anybody in Gaza had any connection with the drone.

        Somewhat similar logic was applied when extremists from Sinai attacked the road near Eilat. IDF accused an organization in Gaza of organizing it and performed a series of killings there, but to top it off, more than 50 “Hamasniks” were detained in Hebron area.

        Somewhat uncharacteristically, almost all of those 50 were quickly released. The truly weird aspect is that IDF is committed to engage in finely calibrated shit. No barbarian massacres, mass rape or quick destruction of entire villages. Instead, finely planned bullying and a lot of “little atrocities”.

        As comments like Zach Smith suggests, there is a big popular demand in Israel to do all that, and much more. IDF command is often criticized for being spineless, coddling terrorists, hindering soldiers from performing their duties (like not allowing the soldier to kill even when they are clearly insulted) and so on.

        Reply to Comment
    2. rsgengland

      A very disingenuous question.
      Over the years the Palestinians have used the sea to smuggle in weapons.
      Weapons would be left in waterproof containers, submerged below the sea surface.
      Palestinian fisherman would collect this pre-arranged weapon drops, and bring them ashore.
      The Palestinians have also used the sea for terrorist attacks like “The Coastal Road Massacre”.
      Peace will be the only sure way of finally solving all these minor squabbles that exist between the Jews and Arabs.
      And the crux of the matter is refugees : a miilion Jews from the Arab Lands, and 700000 Arabs from Palestine.

      Reply to Comment
    3. carl

      “a miilion Jews from the Arab Lands..”: 4 million of jews I would say…and the Palestinian people is directly responsible for these 35 million of jews, especially the fishermen of gaza.

      Reply to Comment
      • rsgengland

        Not quite sure what you are trying to say.

        Reply to Comment
    4. carl

      That your numbers are fake and your logic flawed. Clearer now?

      Reply to Comment
      • rsgengland

        There were a 1000000+n plus Jews in the Arab/Muslim lands in 1948, and now there are a few thousand [+/-4000].
        That is Ethnic Cleansing par excalance.
        There were +/-160000 Arabs left in Israel after 1948 [20% of the population, which makes Israel very poor at Ethnic Cleansing.
        The Palestinians will not make peace without the”right of return for refugees”.
        That is perfect logic.

        Reply to Comment
    5. The Trespasser

      Collective punishment?
      Hamas declared war on Israel.
      Gazans elected Hamas = Gazans had declared war on Israel.

      The only right Gazans have is not to die from starvation, and that is not unquestionable.

      Reply to Comment
      • Empiricon

        Putting aside the fallacies in your comment, your soul is totally black when it comes to Palestinians, huh? Your fear and loathing of “the other” shows your heart is itself occupied territory. Sad indeed.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          You are wrong twice.
          1 – There is no fallacies in my comment.
          2 – I do have a lot of compassion towards Palestinian Arabs, as human beings, but less than zero compassion towards Palestinian Arab nationalists.

          Reply to Comment
          • shmuel

            Yes, Trespasser you look a very sensible person, full of concern. In my country people like you are called “democratic racist”.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Yeah. Apparently, it is my personal fault that there is not even one semi-successful Arab state where civilian rights are respected.

            Reply to Comment
          • berl

            “Palestinian Arabs, as human beings, but less than zero compassion towards Palestinian Arab nationalists”: put the word ‘Jews’ instead of ‘Palestinian Arabs’ and you will ‘see’ the reality of the Jews at the time of the French Revolution.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            And you point being?

            Reply to Comment
          • Empiricon

            Have a seat, T. I need to ‘splain a few things to ya.
            1) Collective punishment is the punishment of every member of a group without regard to his or her involvement in the group’s actions and conduct.
            2) Hamas is subset of Palestinians and Gazans who were elected in 2006 with 440k votes, which represented 44% of votes cast and 30% of the population of Gaza. So 70% of Gazans did not vote for Hamas.
            3) Ergo, punishing all of Gaza is prima facie case of collective punishment. Your statement that “the only right Gazans have is not to die of starvation, and that is questionable” stands on its own for its horrific tribalistic ideal.

            I myself hold certain “truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But these ideals seem to be incompatible with today’s Zionism.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Have a seat, T. I need to ‘splain a few things to ya.

            You know too little to ‘splain me anything.

            >1) Collective punishment is the punishment of every member of a group without regard to his or her involvement in the group’s actions and conduct.

            No shit. Too bad that BDS activists haven’t heard about that.

            >2) Hamas is subset of Palestinians and Gazans who were elected in 2006 with 440k votes, which represented 44% of votes cast and 30% of the population of Gaza. So 70% of Gazans did not vote for Hamas.

            There are no protests against Hamas nowhere – Gaza, WB, outside of Palestine, ergo, Hamas is supported by Palestinians

            3) Ergo, punishing all of Gaza is prima facie case of collective punishment.

            That’s pure nonsense. Gaza is ruled by Hamas and is in a declared state of war. It is said nowhere that civilian population of a country/entity which wages war should be getting special treatment.

            >Your statement that “the only right Gazans have is not to die of starvation, and that is questionable” stands on its own for its horrific tribalistic ideal.

            That is due to your very limited understanding of how real world works.

            For example, if Hamas would start attacking checkpoints and humanitarian convoys, Gazans will die from starvation and rightly so – no-one should risk his life to supply food to a terrorist entity.

            >I myself hold certain “truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But these ideals seem to be incompatible with today’s Zionism.

            Today’s Zionism had became what it is because about 100 years ago some Arabs had decided that Jews in Palestine are not entitled to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

            Reply to Comment
    6. Joel

      Egypt locks down Gaza in retaliation for the kidnapping of her soldiers and no one says a word about the collective punishment. Israel expands Gaza’s fishing territory and Noam writes a critical article.

      Wow.

      Reply to Comment
      • tod

        First, Hamas would not have been there without Israel. Not least because the inhabitants of al-jura, najd, al-majdal (present day sderot, or ha-ner, ashkelon&co) would still be in their homes.
        But assuming that you – joel and trespasser – are right, how can you claim that just for the egyptian crossing we are not entitled to speak of a collective punishment.
        Israel controls all the anagraphic registers in the strip, the amount of shekel, the fishing, cement and other building supplies from entering the Gaza strip by ship or land…ect…so nowadays it has not exactly the same responsabilities on the ground in respect of the others protagonists of this tragedy.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          Israel did not create Hamas. Israel barely supported Hamas initially and turned to oppose Hamas once they’d discovered Hamas true nature.

          Building supplies and cement, etc, enter Gaza through tunnels to Egypt.

          If Gazans want to peg their currency to the Egyptian Pound, than they’re more than welcome.

          Reply to Comment
    7. Why punish fishermen? Because their fish nuture somebody who might know somebody he does know somebody who fires rockets into Israel.

      It takes only one fish!

      Reply to Comment
    8. Noevil9

      It’s irrelevant if the Gaza fishermen are guilty or not,because it has nothing to do with Israel actions. Israel seeks any and every opportunity in any form or shape to carry on it colonialist oppressive policies of strangling the Palestinians in Gaza and else where to death,forcing them to submession or departure. The rest of the excuses are just excuses to pacify world public opinion for the time being till the next crime followed by another excuse to subject the Palestinians to more inhumane treatment. Zionist have been very well known for their smoke screen to hide the reality nd the truth, and this is no deferent. Facts on the grounds tell us that. It’s not all the Palestinians fault in their weaker positin since 1947 and before. Yet,Israel blames the Palestinians for the bad decision they have taken and none to its own action and aggression .

      Reply to Comment
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