Fishing boats off the coast of Gaza
Fishing boats off the coast of GazaAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Major General Kamil Abu Rukun, announced on Saturday night that the fishing area in the Gaza Strip will be extended to a range of 15 nautical miles as of Sunday morning.

"This step is part of the civilian policy to prevent humanitarian deterioration in the Gaza Strip and out of a policy that distinguishes between terrorism and the uninvolved population,” he said.

“The implementation of the move is conditional on the fishermen in Gaza honoring the agreements. It should be emphasized that it will not be possible to deviate from the ranges that were agreed upon, and any deviation will be handled accordingly by the security forces,” added Abu Rukun.

Saturday night’s announcement came three days after COGAT announced that it had been decided to reduce the fishing zone in the Gaza Strip to a range of up to 10 nautical miles until further notice.

That decision was made following the firing of incendiary balloons from Gaza into Israeli territory which caused 11 fires in the Gaza envelope.

Channel 12 News last week published the details of the understandings between Israel and Hamas, brokered by Egypt and the United Nations after the last round of fighting in the south.

According to the report, Hamas agreed to a ceasefire and end to border hostilities, preserving a security zone 300 meters from the fence, cessation of night clashes, and cessation of flotillas to the coastal area.

For its part, Israel is prepared to expand the fishing zone to 15 miles, promote a UN-initiated deal, transfer medicines and humanitarian aid, and open negotiations on electricity, crossings, health, and finances.