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Israel tests waters for truce talks with return of Gaza fishing boats

Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip have recovered the boats that Israel had confiscated years earlier — but is this development political rather than judicial?
Fishing boats are seen on a beach in the southern Gaza Strip October 7, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa - RC19FC99FED0
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — In cooperation with Gaza’s maritime police, the Ministry of Agriculture in the Gaza Strip handed over 25 Palestinian fishing boats to their owners Dec. 2. On Nov. 29, Israel had released these boats that had been in its possession for four or five years.

Israel continues to hold 33 Palestinian boats seized in the past five years, under the pretext of breaching the permissible fishing zone, ranging between 3 and 9 nautical miles from the shore. It caused other boats to sink, claiming that they pose a security threat and are being used in the smuggling of banned goods.

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