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Israel's navy arrests 9 fishermen off Gaza coast

Nov. 28, 2012 3:16 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 29, 2012 9:10 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained nine fishermen off Gaza's north coast on Wednesday, a local official said.

The head of Gaza's fishing association, Mahfouth al-Kabriti, told Ma'an that Israel's navy opened fire at two Palestinian fishing boats six miles off the coast.

The navy then seized both boats and detained nine fishermen, al-Kabriti added. The boats belong to Murad al-Hassi and the Baker family.

An Israeli army spokesman said that two fishing boats deviated from the designated fishing area and after failing to respond to calls to stop, were apprehended by Israel's navy.

The passengers were taken for questioning in the Israeli city of Ashdod, he added.

As part of a ceasefire to end Israel's recent eight-day war on Gaza, Israel agreed to allow fishermen to sail six nautical miles off the coast of Gaza instead of three, which had been the limit under Israel's siege

In the Oslo Accords, Israel agreed to a 20-nautical-mile fishing zone off Gaza's coast but it has imposed a 3-mile limit for several years, opening fire at fishermen who strayed further.

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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