GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces shot and injured a Palestinian fisherman and detained three others off the coast Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip early Tuesday, sources said
Head of the fishermen’s union Nizar Ayyash told Ma’an the forces opened fire on the fishermen while they were working at sea within the nine-mile fishing zone designated by the Israeli authorities.
The injured fisherman was released by the naval forces and taken to the hospital for medical treatment while three others were detained, Ayyash said.
An Israeli spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports.
Israel early this month loosened severe seaside restrictions on Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave, extending
the military-enforced designated fishing zone by three nautical miles off the southern coast of the Gaza Strip.
The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling blockade since 2007 and has enforced “buffer zone” along land and sea borders for alleged security purposes.
The zone is generally enforced by live fire, putting the lives of both fishermen and farmers at risk on a near-daily basis, ultimately devastating agricultural and fishing sectors of the strip’s already-withered economy.
While Israel typically cites security concerns when targeting Palestinian fishermen, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights has reported in the past that fishermen are often targeted when they pose no threat.