Israel has eased some restrictions: Gaza residents

Residents of the Gaza Strip said Israel has eased some restrictions on the blockaded enclave by expanding the allowed fishing zone and granting entry access to some imported goods.

On Sunday, dozens of Gazan fishermen gathered to sell various kinds of fish caught a night earlier, saying the expansion of the allowed fishing zone enabled them to fish more.

Mohammed Saeed, a fisherman from the al-Shati refugee camp, told Xinhua that for the first time in months, he had succeeded in fishing many kinds of fish off the coast of Gaza.

“Since 2007, we have been suffering from the Israeli blockade as a result of the political conflict between Israel and the armed Palestinian groups,” said Samir al-Masry, another fisherman from Gaza city.

He added that the siege imposed on the sea prevented many fishermen from living a decent life and forced them to rely on aids provided by international institutions.

“We need to put an end to the Israeli restrictions imposed on the sea, and to be able to fish in the entire coast of the Gaza Strip,” al-Masry said, adding that both sides should “avoid punishing civilians and let them live in safety”.

Also on Sunday, Israeli authorities allowed the entry of 29 vehicles into Gaza, which had been held at Israeli ports since May.

Meanwhile, dozens of goods entered Gaza through the crossing point of Kerem Shalom, the only commercial passage that connects the enclave to the outside world.

Mahmoud Dawood, a car trader from Gaza city, finally received his cars that had been held at the Israeli ports for months.

He expressed his hope that the Israeli authorities would decouple the political and economic situations in the Gaza Strip.

For his part, Tamer Ashour, an official in the Syndicate of Vehicle Importers, told Xinhua that only 29 cars were allowed to enter Gaza for the first time after the ban lasted for more than two months.

“On ordinary days, at least 100 vehicles enter Gaza. But after the military escalation between the Israeli army and the armed Palestinian groups, Israel stopped the import of vehicles,” Ashour said.

On May 10, Israel waged a large-scale airstrike on the Gaza Strip after the Palestinian Islamic Hamas Movement and other militant groups fired hundreds of rockets towards Israel.

On May 21, Egypt mediated a ceasefire between the two sides that ended the fighting between the two sides.