3 FISHERS KILLED IN GAZA BLAST; ISRAEL SAYS WAYWARD ROCKET DID IT
Three fishermen were killed in an explosion off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, March 7, 2021, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
The chairman of the Fishermen's Association in Gaza, Nizar Ayyash, told reporters that the three fishermen had died but he was unable to confirm what had caused the explosion. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said it had not targeted anyone.
"The IDF is not responsible for the incident, and our indications show that their deaths were caused by an explosion inside Gaza," said an Israeli military statement. Israel Army Radio said that cause was a rocket launched by mistake by the radical Islamist Hamas movement ruling Gaza.
Israel imposes tight restrictions on the work of fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Sea, citing security reasons.
It says it combats attempts to smuggle weapons or raw materials for rockets into the coastal enclave, as part of the blockade it has imposed on the Strip along with Egypt since 2007.
Gaza has some 3,000 fishermen, of whom only 800 work on some 700 boats. Some 70,000 Gazans make a living from fishing and selling fish, according to official Palestinian statistics.