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Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast

April 26, 2016 8:16 P.M. (Updated: April 27, 2016 2:09 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the Gaza fishermen committee said.

The head of the Gaza fishermen committee, Zakariya Bakr, told Ma'an that Israeli naval forces opened fire at fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Bakr added that Israeli forces then detained fishermen Aahed Ziyad Zayid and Munis al-Abed Zayid and confiscated their boats before taking them to an unknown location.

No injuries were reported in the incident, Bakr said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports.

Earlier on Tuesday, witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli naval forces fired live ammunition at fishermen working off the coast of al-Zahra area of central Gaza, without causing any injuries.

The Israeli military enters Palestinian areas on both land and sea sides of the Gaza Strip on a near-daily basis, often putting Palestinian fishermen and farmers -- and their livelihoods -- at risk.

While Israeli authorities this month expanded the fishing zone designated for Palestinian fishermen to nine nautical miles in the southern Gaza Strip, and retained the six mile zone in the north, fishermen regularly report detentions, live fire, and boat confiscation within these limits.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has documented over 40 instances of Israeli incursions into the Gaza border area this month alone.

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