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Israeli miltary vehicles 'enter Gaza,' warships fire at fishermen

April 8, 2014 9:53 A.M. (Updated: April 9, 2014 11:51 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Several Israeli military vehicles entered the southern Gaza Strip early Tuesday, witnesses told Ma'an.

Locals said six military vehicles entered Gaza east of al-Qarara. No shooting was reported.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was not familiar with the incident.

Separately, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of northern Gaza City, causing damages to one fishing boat.

A fisherman told Ma'an an Israeli naval squadron fired at Palestinian boats near the al-Sudaniyya neighborhood. No injuries were reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she knew of "several instances where boats deviated from their designated fishing zones" overnight off the coast of Gaza.

The spokeswoman said the Israeli navy fired warning shots into the air or in the vicinity of the Palestinian boats, but not directly at the boats or the fishermen.

In the Oslo Accords, Israel agreed to a 20-nautical-mile fishing zone off Gaza's coast but it has imposed a three-mile limit for several years, opening fire at fishermen who stray further.

Israel has controlled Gaza's waters since its occupation of the area in 1967, and has stationed warships off the coast since 2008.

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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