Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after rocket launch

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Israel reduced the offshore fishing limit it imposes for vessels operating out of Gaza starting Tuesday following rocket fire from the territory, officials said.

Gaza fishermen will now be able to operate no more than six nautical miles into the Mediterranean, down from a limit of up to 15 nautical miles Israel had enforced since April 1.

The Israeli defense ministry unit that oversees civil matters in the Palestinian territories, said the new limit would be in force “until further notice.”

A Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) spokeswoman said the decision was taken in the light of a rocket launch from Gaza late on Monday.

A military spokeswoman said the rocket fell into the Mediterranean, a few kilometers (couple of miles) off the Israeli coast.

Israel had extended the fishing limit to 15 nautical miles in some areas from April 1 as part of a package of measures intended to calm a flare-up of violence with Hamas ahead of the April 9 Israeli general election.

The Gaza fishermen’s union said the limit was then set at 15 nautical miles in the south near the Egyptian border, at 12 off central Gaza and at six in the north near the Israeli border.

Israel has fought three wars with Gaza militants since 2008 and has blockaded the territory for more than a decade.