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Witnesses: Israeli navy fires at Gaza fishing boats

Aug. 20, 2013 1:22 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 22, 2013 10:31 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel's navy opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the northern coast of Gaza on Tuesday, witnesses said.

Israeli ships fired several shells at the boats, who were fishing near Gaza City, causing material damage.

No injuries were reported.

On Monday, Israeli naval forces confiscated three fishing boats, and a day earlier detained three men swimming in what was deemed a "suspicious" area.

In May, the Israeli government re-extended Gaza's fishing zone to six miles, after reducing it in March following a rocket attack from the coastal territory.

The zone had been extended to six miles as part of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that ended an eight-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in November.

In the Oslo Accords, Israel agreed to a 20-nautical-mile fishing zone off Gaza's coast but it 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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