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Israeli navy opens fire on Gaza fishermen, no injuries reported

Aug. 2, 2015 11:18 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 2, 2015 2:46 P.M.)
Palestinian fishermen stand on a boat in the harbor of Gaza City. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Israeli naval forces on Sunday morning fired gunshots at Palestinian fishermen sailing off the coast of the Gaza Strip, witnesses said.

The forces reportedly fired machine guns at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of al-Waha as well Sudaniyya located in the northwestern Gaza Strip, with no injuries reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that Israeli naval forces fired "warning shots" at a Palestinian vessel that "deviated from the designated fishing zone."

She said that afterward it headed back to shore.

Palestinian fishermen face daily risks in order to make a living, including routine harassment from Israeli naval forces, confiscation of boats and materials, detention, and potentially death.

At least three Palestinian fishermen have been shot dead by Israeli forces since September.

Israeli forces often allege that fishermen deviate from the designated fishing zone and pose a security threat.

The exact limits of the zone set by Israeli authorities are often ambiguous and Israeli authorities have not abided by the fishing zone agreed upon in last summer's ceasefire agreement, rights groups say.

The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the "security buffer zone."
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