Gazan Fisherman Slaughter Endangered Manta Rays, Blame it on Israel

Old and busted: the dog ate my homework

New hotness: Israel made us do it.

Dozens of manta rays were laid out Monday on a beach in the Gaza Strip as local Palestinian fishermen celebrated the mass catch.

The rare fish flock to the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Gaza during their winter migration every year in March and April.

Fishing is a major commercial activity in Gaza, which has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since 2007, when the Hamas terrorist group took over the territory in a bloody battle with the Palestinian Authority.

Fisherman Bashir Shoueikh caught more than 10 of the rays, each weighing between 200 and 300 kg (440-660 pounds).

They sell for around 12 shekels ($3.30) per kilo.

Photos from the scene showed the massive, bloodied creatures being slaughtered, hacked apart and hauled away on horse-drawn carts.

The fishermen said they were aware the rays are protected, but claimed Israel’s blockade forced them to harvest the animals, according to the AP.

The fishing zone off Gaza, determined by Israel, varies from five to 16 nautical miles, depending on the security situation. Despite the restrictions, Gazan fishermen have significantly increased their haul in the years since the blockade was put in place.

The two species of manta ray — manta alfredi and manta birostris — are both on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red list of threatened species due to their declining numbers.

While the above AFP/Times of Israel report mentions the fishermen blaming Israel buried deep inside the report, the UAE’s The National places the blame on Israel in more obvious fashion:

Here’s a thought. How about the media (and Israel-haters) stop infantilizing the palestinian Arabs as savages incapable of free choice, ruled only by primal instincts for survival, and treat them as humans who are choosing to do the wrong thing? It is not like this is the first time they have shown scant regard for life, whether it be animals or humans (palestinian and Israeli alike).


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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