Three Palestinian fishermen died this Sunday in the mysterious explosion of their boat in the middle of the Mediterranean, off Khan Younès, in the Gaza Strip. The three bodies were taken to the hospital in the Palestinian city.
These deaths were allegedly caused by “shells of unknown origins on their boat,” said Nizar Ayyash, president of the fishermen’s union in the Palestinian enclave. The Israeli army said “not to be responsible for this incident”. The cause of the explosion would come, according to her, from the Gaza Strip.
Smuggling off Gaza
In September 2020, two Palestinian fisherman brothers from Gaza were killed in the Mediterranean by gunfire from the Egyptian army, according to Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip bordered by Israel and Egypt. The territory has many fishermen who venture into demarcated areas of the Mediterranean.
According to the Israeli authorities, fishing is sometimes used for smuggling activities. In the southern part of the Gaza Strip, local authorities track down traffickers and members of jihadist groups as far as the sea. The Palestinian territory is subject to an Israeli bloc which notably limits fishing zones to 15 nautical miles from the coast.