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Israeli navy detains 3 Gaza fishermen

Feb. 11, 2014 10:24 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 12, 2014 9:49 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained three fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip early Tuesday, witnesses said.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli warships stopped two fishing boats and arrested three fishermen at gunpoint. The boats and fishermen were taken to an unknown location.

One of the fishermen was identified as Fadil Sultan.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said two Palestinian boats entered a "prohibited fishing zone" early Tuesday.

After ordering the boats to stop and firing warning shots in their vicinity, the Israeli Navy took the fishermen in for questioning, the spokeswoman said.

Palestinian fishermen are only allowed to venture three nautical miles from Gaza's shore, though official Israeli-Palestinian agreements previously settled on 20 nautical miles.

Israeli naval forces frequently harass Palestinian fishermen who near the three-mile limit, as well as those inside the zone.

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