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Israeli forces detain Gaza fishermen

April 29, 2012 12:45 P.M. (Updated: April 30, 2012 3:17 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israel's navy detained a group of fishermen off the coast of Gaza on Sunday morning, the army said.

Local official Mahfouth al-Kabareeti told Ma'an that Israeli naval forces detained eight men.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that navy forces fired at the engine of a Palestinian fishing boat after it had deviated from the designated fishing area.

No injuries were reported and the boat was transferred to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The fishermen were transferred to the custody of security forces, the spokeswoman added.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed on a 20-nautical-mile fishing zone off Gaza's coast under the Oslo Accords, but Israel unilaterally imposes a 3-mile limit. Israeli warships frequently open fire at boats that allegedly stray from the permitted area.

Fishermen say the limits have destroyed their livelihood and that it is impossible to trawl a large catch within the designated area.

Israel has controlled Gaza waters since its occupation of the area in 1967, and has kept several warships stationed off the coast since 2008.
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