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Israel detains 2 fishermen off Gaza coast

Dec. 18, 2011 5:31 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 19, 2011 6:48 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained two Palestinians fishing off the Gaza coast on Sunday, before confiscating their equipment, officials and the Israeli army said.

President of the Fishing and Marine Sports Authority in Gaza Mahfouz al-Kabareteh said naval officers seized the fishermen and their oars while they were working within the three-mile limit imposed by Israel.

An Israeli army spokesman said that two fishing boats had deviated from the designated fishing area. After failing to respond to warnings to return, soldiers fired shots at both engines.

Both fishermen were taken into custody and their equipment seized.

Israel has cracked down on fishermen in the Gaza Strip in 2011, according to a report released by Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights.

Israel detained 40 fishermen, injured five others and seized nine boats between January and December, the human rights group said on Oct. 31.

Gaza's fishing industry has collapsed since Israel tightened its land and maritime blockade on the coastal strip in 2007.
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