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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06JERUSALEM2068
2006-05-22 15:36:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Consulate Jerusalem
Cable title:  

LIVELIHOOD OF GAZA FISHERMEN THREATENED

Tags:   EAGR  PHUM  EAID  EFIS  KWBG  KPAL 
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VZCZCXYZ0024
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #2068 1421536
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221536Z MAY 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2288
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
						UNCLAS JERUSALEM 002068 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA/IPA FOR WILLIAMS/GREENE/WAECHTER; NEA/RA FOR LAWSON;
OES FOR DALEY; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/LOGERFO; STATE PASS TO
USAID/BORODIN AND TO USDA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR PHUM EAID EFIS KWBG KPAL
SUBJECT: LIVELIHOOD OF GAZA FISHERMEN THREATENED




1. (SBU) According to an April World Food Programme (WFP)
report, local demand for fish in Gaza has doubled and put
pressure on Gaza fishing grounds, already restricted to 6
nautical miles from the shore. (Note: The Oslo Accords
designated 20 miles of fishing grounds for Palestinians in
Gaza. End Note.) Fish catch dropped from 8 metric tons per
day in 2005 to 4.2 metric tons per day in 2006. WFP warned
that if the fishing grounds are not expanded to at least 12
miles from the shore, the fishing industry could disappear by
October 2007, impacting 35,000 Gazans who work in the
industry and depriving Gazans of an important source of
protein.



2. (SBU) Executive Director of Al-Tawfiq Fishermen's
Cooperative Mohammad Zaqout told EconOffs that the fishermen
do not have the resources or the ability to meet the higher
demand for fish primarily due to limited fishing grounds.
Zaqout said the GOI had extended the fishing area to 10
nautical miles from the shore when President Abbas was
elected in 2005, but limited it to 6 nautical miles after
Hamas took over the government in March. As a result, Zaqout
said 3,500 fishermen could only catch about 2 to 3 metric
tons of fish per day.



3. (SBU) Zaqout said that Gaza fishermen lacked the money to
repair their boats and nets. Although some NGOs had provided
assistance in the past, the Intifada had forced NGOs to
revise their assistance priorities in light of changing
humanitarian needs. CARE Gaza staff member told EconOff that
CARE had provided some technical assistance and had taken a
leading role in encouraging the fishermen to advocate for
their rights. The Welfare Association, a private, non-profit
foundation channeling assistance from the Palestinian
diaspora to local NGOs, had provided fishermen with ice and
nets in the last few years. (Note: USAID has not previously
provided assistance to fishermen in Gaza. End Note.)
Without equipment such as fishing nets, fuel, and lighting
equipment, fishermen in Gaza would be unable to continue to
fish, Zaqout said. He added that other related industries,
such as boat construction, would suffer if the fishing
industry collapsed.
WALLES