Israel Arrests 3 Palestinian Fishermen Off the Gaza Strip

Fishermen from Palestine

The Israeli Navy Unit arrested three Palestinian fishermen sailing on the northwest coast of Gaza City, after Israel reportedly "lifted a week-long total sea blockade" of the Gaza Strip.

They told reporters Wafa Palestinian news agency, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats as they sailed six nautical miles from Gaza City.

The Israeli Navy detained three fishermen from the Baker family, who were taken to an undisclosed location and their boat was confiscated, according to Antara, Sunday (05/12/2019).

The attack on Palestinian fishermen came a day after Israel announced it would "allow the right of fishing for Palestinians to nine nautical miles in the central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip and six nautical miles in the north."

Israel imposed a maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip on Saturday last week, following the outbreak of cross-border hostilities during the 3-6 May 2019.

Israel Opens Post-Armistice Gaza Strip Border Post

Israel is scheduled to reopen its main crossing with the Gaza Strip on Sunday 12 May 2019, as part of a ceasefire agreement with Hamas following the conflict escalation two weeks ago.

The move comes days after Israel lifted restrictions on a 12-mile fishing zone from the Gaza Strip when both sides appeared to maintain a ceasefire brokered by Egypt.

"On Sunday (12/5), Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings will be opened, according to regular operating hours," COGAT, the Israeli Defense Ministry body that cooperates with the Palestinians, said in a statement on Saturday 11 May 2019 night On Sunday (05/12/2019).

Erez, in northern Gaza, is the main terminal for civil traffic, while Kerem Shalom in the southern Gaza Strip is the entrance to commercial goods.

The crossing was closed when violence broke out two weeks ago and remained closed for Israel's Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays from 7-9 May 2019 this week.

Armistice After Two Week Escalation

In some of the toughest battles in years, Palestinians fired nearly 700 projectiles into Israel on May 4 and 5, and Israel responded with hundreds of air strikes. Four Israelis were killed, as were 29 Palestinians in Gaza, including at least 11 members of the Gaza guerrilla group.

Palestinian faction announces ceasefire Monday May 6 2019. Israel has refused to officially confirm the understanding of the ceasefire.

On Friday, May 10, 2019, UN Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov spoke with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Both discussed efforts to apply the reported understanding reached between Israel and Hamas to prevent new violence, said public broadcaster Kan quoted Haniyeh's office as saying.

Together with Egypt and Qatar, Mladenov of the United Nations has played a leading role in mediating talks on a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and reaching an understanding to end the turmoil among parties that have broken out regularly since the beginning of the March Great Return of March protest .

Meanwhile, even though a ceasefire has been agreed, tensions on the Israeli border and Gaza Strip re-occur during a weekly routine demonstration on Friday 10 May 2019.

A Palestinian was killed and 30 others were injured when thousands gathered on the Gaza Strip border Friday for weekly protests, according to the health ministry run by Hamas in Gaza.

The violence is seen as a big test of the calm that has taken place since last weekend's fierce fighting between Israel and Gaza guerrillas in the enclave in the Mediterranean.

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