Israel Makes Significant Humanitarian Gesture to Gaza

While tensions continue to run high on Israel’s southern frontier, Palestinian sources in Gaza revealed that in an exceptional move, Israel has allowed the expansion of the fishing zone off the enclave’s Mediterranean coast, to a range   not been seen since the Islamist-Hamas organization seized control of the Palestinian Strip. According to the Gaza fishermen’s committee, “Israel extended the fishing zone from 22 to 28 kilometers,” equivalent to 15 nautical miles. The committee received the approval from Egyptian mediators, who have been working tirelessly behind-the-scenes, in cooperation with the United Nations, to mediate between Jerusalem and Hamas; in efforts aimed at thwarting a possible military conflagration.

In response to the announcement, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Kamil Abu-Rukun explained the move as an Israeli effort to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the coastal enclave. He said “this is a part of (Jerusalem’s) policy – which distinguishes between terrorism and (the) general (civilian) population – of preventing the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip.” It is important to note that in addition to the expansion of the fishing zone, Israel has reopened its two border crossings into Gaza; from which it also renewed the supply of diesel for the sole’ power-plant that provides the Palestinian enclave with electricity.

These humanitarian measures come just several days after extensive rocket-fire from the Hamas-controlled territory toward Israel’s civilian communities. It also follows a year during which Islamist organizations in Gaza fired 1233 rockets, detonated 94 explosive devices along the border, and set fire to more than 8,000 acres of Israeli land.