Among the many complaints the PA has against Israel is the IDF's patrol of the Gaza coast, enforcing the naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled territory. IDF ships patrol a perimeter off the coast, and prevent vessels from crossing that perimeter, either from the open sea to Gaza, or vice-versa. Occasionally Gaza Arab terrorists try to run that blockade, under the guise of deep-sea fishing vessels.
The IDF does this in order to prevent the delivery of dangerous materiel to Gaza Arab terrorists. In recent years, terrorists were able to smuggle large amounts of weaponry into Gaza, which is eventually used against Israel.
When Gaza terrorists try to run the blockade, IDF vessels fire at the Gaza ships, forcing them to remain inside the perimeter, eliciting loud complaints from the PA about how Israel is “shooting at innocent fishermen,” complaints that other Arab nations such as Egypt, join in with.
But with the unrest in Egypt and the attempts by Muslim Brotherhood Islamists – with whom Hamas is closely affiliated – the Egyptian army seems to have changed its tone. On Friday, the Ma'an News Agency in Gaza reported that Egyptian army vessels had fired at “fishermen” from Gaza, too. No details were given, but it appeared that the “fishermen” were on their way to Egyptian territorial waters.
In the firefight, Egyptian forces injured two Gaza Arabs. They were taken to a hospital in Rafiah, near the crossing into Sinai. Egyptian soldiers arrested six other individuals, and they were being questioned by Egyptian officials.
Hamas did not comment on the “Egyptian aggression” against Gaza “fishermen,” as they generally do when Israel fires at Gaza Arabs on these ships.