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Egyptian navy detains 3 Gaza fishermen

May 6, 2014 10:32 A.M. (Updated: May 7, 2014 10:32 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Egyptian navy detained three Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip early Tuesday, a union official said.

Nizar Ayyash, spokesperson for the Gaza fishermen's union, told Ma'an that Egyptian naval squadrons obstructed a fishing boat off the coast of Rafah.

The navy then took Amir Jamal al-Aqraa and his two brothers Muhammad and Fahd into custody, Ayyash said, without providing further details.

Gaza fishermen face severe restrictions imposed by both Israel and Egypt, whose navies often fire on fishing boats that stray outside small "designated fishing zones."

In August, Egyptian forces fired at Gaza fishermen, injuring two men and arresting six others.

Egypt-Gaza relations have deteriorated in the wake of the military ouster of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in July.

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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