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Israeli navy opens fire at Gaza fishing boats

March 2, 2015 9:49 A.M. (Updated: March 4, 2015 4:29 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval boats on Monday opened fire at fishermen off the coast of northern Gaza, residents said.

The incident occurred near the neighborhood of al-Sudaniyya, with the fishermen returning to shore for fear of arrest or having their vessels confiscated.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the incident.

On Sunday, residents said Israeli boats opened fire at fishermen in the early morning. No injuries were reported.

There are around 4,000 Palestinian fishermen in the coastal enclave, 90 percent of whom are poor according to a 2011 report by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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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