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Israel detains fishermen off north Gaza shore

Nov. 29, 2012 11:48 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 2, 2012 9:40 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces detained Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, according to the Israeli army and rights groups.

Six men aboard a boat around 5 nautical miles off Beit Lahiya in north Gaza were seized and investigated at gunpoint, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said.

The group identified the detainees as boat-owner Fahed Ziad Baker, 38, Ihab Jawad Baker, 36, Mohammad Ziad Baker, 32, Naim Fahed Baker, 16, Ziad Faged Baker, 18 and Ali Alaa Baker, 18.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said two fishermen were taken into custody for breaching the no-fishing zone.

PCHR called on Israel to allow Palestinians to fish off Gaza's coast, and said its continued arrest of fishermen within six nautical miles cast doubt on claims it had extended the limit as part of a ceasefire deal last week.

Ten fishermen were detained on Wednesday off Gaza's north coast within the six-mile limit, PCHR said.

Gaza's government said Israel had agreed to allow fishermen to sail six nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, as part of its truce agreement to end eight days of fighting.

Israeli authorities have not commented on any modifications to the fishing limit.

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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