12, 6, 3 nautical miles.
Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip see how their working area
shrinks more and more. Their boats sail up and down the coast, finding
little fish in highly polluted waters. They make a living between
shifting boundaries imposed by the gunfire of the Israeli army. The
sea that always fed them now has gates that cannot be crossed.
In 1994, following the signature
of the Oslo Accords between the Palestinian Liberation Organizations
and Israel, the Palestinian fishermen where legally allowed to go
inside the sea up to 20 nautical miles in front of the Gaza Strip.
This area is being continuously reduced. In 2002, during the second
intifada it was already 12 miles. The siege suffered by the Gaza population
after the democratic victory of Hamas in the 2006 election reduced
this area to 6 miles. Since the Israeli military offensive, "Cast
Lead", in December 2008 the limit for the Palestinian is 3 miles.
Local and international witness inform that this limit is imposed
by gun fire.
Between December 2010 and January 2011 the Israeli army's attacks
on Gaza's waters caused at least 14 arrests, among them two children,
the confiscation of 2 boats and damages in equipments.