May 27, 2018

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For two weeks, Hamas didn’t allow Gazans to fish

Ma’an reports that today was the first day that Hamas allowed any fishing boats to leave port in two weeks, since the assassination of Mazen Fuqaha on March 25.

The price of fish in Gaza increased sharply as no domestic fish reached the market.

There were reports that Hamas believed that the killers came by sea.

This came in context of Hamas stopping nearly everyone from leaving Gaza altogether.

There have been scattered news stories from the Middle East about these Hamas restrictions, but on the whole the world media and human rights groups have been silent. (The only exception I could find was the next to last paragraph of a report by Israeli NGO Gisha, who used to be silent about Hamas abuses on people entering and leaving Gaza until I shamed them a couple of years ago and they realized that their egregious anti-Israel focus could threaten their EU funding.)

The biweekly UN OCHA-OPT humanitarian report implied that the fishing ban was just slightly worsening Israel’s restrictions on fishing to a 6 mile perimeter:

[S]ince 26 March, the de facto authorities are preventing the access of Palestinian fishermen to the sea along Gaza’s coast. The Gaza Fishermen’s Syndicate has estimated the resulting losses at two to three tons of fish per day, triggering rises in the price of imported fish. These restrictions, which came at the beginning of the sardine season, are further undermining fishing livelihoods weakened by the longstanding access restrictions imposed by Israel. 

Hamas’ decision to lift these restrictions seem to be more from worries about people revolting than from any progress in their investigation about the Fuqaha hit.

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