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Witnesses: Israeli forces arrest 2 Gaza fishermen

Feb. 19, 2013 2:29 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 20, 2013 2:22 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces arrested two fishermen off Gaza's northern coast on Tuesday, locals said.

Mahmoud Saad Allah and his brother Muhammad were arrested by Israel's navy and taken to an unknown location, witnesses told Ma'an.

Their fishing boats were also confiscated.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment on the incident.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights on Monday expressed concern over an escalation in Israeli attacks on fishermen in Gaza.

On Monday morning, Israeli gunboats opened fire on a Palestinian fishing boat at close range, wounding two fishermen, PCHR said in a statement.

The attack occurred three nautical miles from the Gaza coast, within the 6-mile limit agreed in Israel's ceasefire deal with Hamas in November, PCHR added.

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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