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Israel detains 2 Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast

Oct. 5, 2015 12:12 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 5, 2015 12:12 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli naval forces on Monday detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, witnesses said.

Israeli forces reportedly forced the fishermen to jump from their boat and swim to the Israeli naval boat, before taking them to shore.

Israeli forces also seized the boat and took it to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

An Israeli army spokeswoman did not immediately return respond when asked for comment.

According to documentation by the Gaza fishing union, Israel’s navy has committed at least 1,370 assaults on fishermen since the signing of the July 2014 ceasefire agreement that ended Israel’s most recent military offensive.

The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), found that the blockade has seriously undermined the ability of Gazan fishermen to make a living at sea.

The difficulties have lead to a severe drop in those attempting to pursue the career.

According to OCHA, the number of fishermen in Gaza has declined from about 10,000 in 2000, to only 3,500 in 2013 -- 95 percent of whom receive international aid to supplement their income.
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