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Detained fishermen released amid fresh attacks off Gaza coast by Israeli forces

April 9, 2016 11:07 A.M. (Updated: April 10, 2016 3:36 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Friday evening released three fishermen who had been detained earlier Friday, before naval forces opened fire on Gaza fishermen Saturday morning off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.

Three of the four fisherman Israeli forces detained off the coast of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip Friday were released. A speaker of the Gaza fishermen's union Nizar Ayyash told Ma’an that the fourth fisherman was expected to be released later on Friday night.

Ayyash highlighted that the fourth fisherman was injured after Israeli naval boats opened fire at two fishing boats, which were also seized by Israeli forces. Witnesses said the incident took place within the designated nine nautical mile fishing zone.

Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) released in a statement Sunday saying the three fishermen sailed as far as 13.5 nautical miles off the coast.

A previous report on Friday mentioned that there had been no injuries among the fishermen.

News of their release comes as Israeli naval forces opened fire on Gaza fishermen on Saturday off the coast in the northern Gaza Strip, locals told Ma’an.

No injuries were reported among fishermen.

Gaza fishermen are detained and fired on by Israeli naval forces almost on a daily basis under the pretext that they sail beyond the designated fishing zone.

The fishing zone was extended last week to nine nautical miles from six nautical miles off some parts of the Gaza Strip coast, in spite of the fact that the fishing zone was technically set to 20 nautical miles according to the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the early 1990s.
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