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Israeli naval forces open fire at Gaza fishermen

April 20, 2017 10:10 P.M. (Updated: April 24, 2017 4:19 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- Israeli naval forces on Thursday opened fire at Palestinian fishermen boats off the coasts of the al-Sudaniya area of the north of Gaza Strip.

Head of the Gazan fishermen union Zakariya Bakr told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened live fire at the fishermen while they were sailing four nautical miles from the shore.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the reports, saying that "earlier on Thursday a vessel deviated from the designated fishing zone. Israeli naval forces fired warning shots in the air, and the vessel turned around. No injuries were reported."

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach Israel’s unilaterally declared “buffer zone,” which lies on both the land and sea sides of Gaza.

The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sector of the blockaded coastal enclave.

Gazan fishermen, whose numbers are estimated to be around 4,000, have suffered from the near decade-long siege of the Gaza Strip, which limits their incursions to just six nautical miles into the sea in accordance with the ceasefire agreement signed with Palestinian factions in 2014.

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