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Israeli gunboats fire on Palestinian fishermen north of Gaza

Dec. 22, 2013 11:41 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 22, 2013 8:21 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Israeli gunboats fired two shells toward Palestinian fishing boats in the Sudaniya area in the northwestern Gaza Strip on Saturday evening, a witness said.

The eyewitness added that no injuries were reported from the shelling.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe blockade imposed by the State of Israel since 2006.

Palestinian fishermen are only allowed to go 3 nautical miles from Gaza's shore, even though Israeli-Palestinian agreement previously agreed on 20 nautical miles. Israeli naval forces frequently harass Palestinian fishermen who near the 3-mile limit, as well as those inside the zone.

There are 4,000 fishermen in Gaza. According to a 2011 report by the International Committee of the Red Cross 90 percent are poor, an increase of 40 percent from 2008 and a direct result of Israeli limits on the fishing industry.

The Israeli blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.
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