Israel slashes Gaza fishing zone after failed rocket attack

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Israel said on Tuesday that it has slashed the permitted fishing zone off the Gaza Strip after a failed rocket attack a day earlier.

Kamil Abu Rokon, Israel's coordinator of the government activities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, said in a statement that the permitted area will be scaled back to six nautical miles, or some 11 km.

He said the restriction will remain in force "until further notice."

On April 1, Israel extended the fishing zone to 15 nautical miles, the largest range Israel has allowed since it imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2007.

The move came amid Egyptian efforts to broker a long-term cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, an Islamist Palestinian movement that runs Gaza.

Fishing is estimated as the second most important sector in Gaza, a major food source and an economic engine for Palestinians living in the coastal enclave.

The Gaza Strip, home to about 2 million people, has been under Israeli blockade since 2007. Under the blockade, Israel strictly limits exit and entry of people and goods, inflicting a humanitarian crisis on the territory.

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