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Israeli bulldozers enter Rafah area, navy fires at fishermen

March 19, 2015 12:34 P.M. (Updated: March 20, 2015 1:29 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Four Israeli bulldozers and a military vehicle entered Palestinian land near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, witnesses told Ma'an.

The incident marks the continuation of high activity in densely populated Rafah, as the Egyptian army demolished 1,020 houses Tuesday in the second stage of the establishment of a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip.

In a separate incident Thursday, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen across the al-Sudaniyya shore off Gaza City.

Palestinian sources reported one fishing boat was damaged.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an that the bulldozers were stationed adjacent to the security fence in response to suspected activity in the area.

She did not have any immediate information about the shooting incident at sea.

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 Sept. 1, Israeli forces have killed three fishermen, detained more than 49, injured 17, confiscated 12 fishing boats and damaged fishing tools in nine other incidents, according to the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights.
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