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Israeli forces detain 10 Palestinian fishermen off southern Gaza coast

March 12, 2018 2:37 P.M. (Updated: March 13, 2018 10:36 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces detained 10 Palestinian fishermen on Monday morning off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, according to local sources.

Head of the Gaza Fishermen Union, Nizar Ayyash, confirmed the detention of 10 fishermen off the coast of Rafah, adding that Israeli forces confiscated a boat belonging to fisherman Adel Miqdad.

Meanwhile, witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire during the detention of the fishermen.

The 10 detainees were identified as Muhammad Adel Miqdad, Ibrahim Adel Miqdad, Ahmad Ziad al-Bardawil, Muhammad Farhat Ashur, Alaa Ibrahim Miqdad, Muhammad Numan Miqdad, Muhammad Ibrahim Miqdad, Amin Saada Jumaa, Adel Ibrahim Miqdad and Ahmad Muhammad Tabasheh.

As part of Israel's blockade of the coastal enclave since 2007, the Israeli army, citing security concerns, requires Palestinian fishermen to work within a limited "designated fishing zone," the exact limits of which are decided by the Israeli authorities and have historically fluctuated.

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the unilaterally declared buffer zone.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem recently concluded that Israel’s Gaza closure and “harassment of fishermen” have been “destroying Gaza’s fishing sector,” with 95 percent of fishermen living below the poverty line.

Last month, Israeli forces shot and killed 18-year-old Ismail Saleh Abu Reyala while he was sailing. His body continues to be held by Israel.

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