Gaza, April 4: Israel has expanded the distance it permits for around 4,000 Gaza fishermen from six nautical miles to nine miles along central and southern shores of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli authorities said that the relaxation of measures imposed on fishermen should result in a bigger catch in deeper waters where fish are more abundant, Xinhua reported.
Israel kept the northern area close to its borders with Gaza at six miles in fear that the military Hamas that controls Gaza movement would use the area for weapon smuggling.
Palestinian fishermen have been complaining about frequent Israeli interception and arrests of fishermen after damaging their fishing boats and confiscating equipment.
Officials, however, called the expansion of the fishing zone "not enough", adding that before 2007 when Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip, fishermen were allowed to fish at 20 nautical miles.