Israel to allow fishing licenses in the Philippines

Israel plans to allow its fishing license holders to fish in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, a government source said.

According to the sources, a decision on the matter is expected within the next few days, and the details will be discussed at an emergency cabinet meeting of ministers, which will be convened on Tuesday.

The minister who will lead the meeting, Foreign Minister Ron Dermer, said last week that Israel will allow fishing licensees in the South and South East China Seas, which is home to about 20 percent of the world’s fishing capacity.

He said the plan was being finalized at the request of the Philippines, which has a maritime dispute with Beijing.

The Philippines claims sovereignty over almost all of the strategically vital sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes annually.

The South China seas, a major shipping corridor, are contested by Beijing and Taiwan, which claims the area.

Israel, which hosts about 5,000 Israeli citizens, has also had tensions with China over its construction of a military base in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, but has not taken a direct military stance.

China says it has no plans to build a military outpost in the West Bank and is not involved in territorial disputes with Israel.

Last week, China sent naval ships to the area to show support for Israel.