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Israeli boats open fire at Gaza fishermen

Dec. 26, 2014 1:07 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 28, 2014 3:11 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval boats opened fire at fishermen off the coast of northern Gaza on Friday, witnesses said.

Locals said gunfire was heard from the shore of Gaza City as fishermen were at sea.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said "a few vessels deviated from the designated fishing zone" and naval forces fired warning shots in the air.

The boats then turned back, she added.

The Aug. 26 ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian militant groups stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza's coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.

Since then, there have been widespread reports that Israeli forces have at times opened fire at fishermen within those new limits, and the zone has not been expanded.

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