Cairo, Egypt (4E) – In what could spark tensions between Hamas and military-backed Egyptian interim government, a court in Egyptian Suez Canal city of Ismailia on Wednesday fined five Palestinian fishermen and sent them to an year imprisonment for fishing in the waters near the Gaza Strip.
The fishermen have been asked to pay $72.6 for illegally entering and fishing in Egyptian waters, media reports claimed.
“This is a dangerous move on the part of Egyptian authorities toward the Palestinians,” said Ihab Al-Ghussein, spokesperson for the Hamas government, which rules Gaza since past nearly six years.
The court’s verdict came nearly three weeks after the Egyptian navy arrested the five fishermen, who lives in the border town of Rafah. During the ousted Islamic President Mohammed Morsi’s regime, Gaza fishermen freely fish in the Egyptian waters.
Describing the ruling as “unjust and arbitrary”, Nezar Ayyash, spokesperson of Gaza’s fishermen, said that 50 percent of fish in Gaza markets comes from Egypt through importers and smugglers.