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5 Palestinian fishermen detained off northern Gaza coast

July 28, 2016 10:17 A.M. (Updated: July 28, 2016 3:03 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli navy forces detained several Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip overnight.

The head of the fishermen union, Nizar Ayyash, told Ma’an that Israeli navy boats confiscated a Palestinian fishing boat late Wednesday while five fishermen were on board.

The five detainees were identified as Muhammad Rafat Bakr, Khamis Awad Bakr, Muhammad Maher Bakr, Salim Abu Sadeq, and Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Luh.

Ayyash condemned these detentions.

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

Meanwhile, Israeli forces reportedly opened fired from towers of the Kissufim military site at Palestinian lands in eastern Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported.

Israeli forces regularly detain Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza working within the fishing zone, generally for alleged security reasons.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Israeli forces detained 71 fishermen and confiscated 22 fishing boats throughout 2015.

Palestinians who work near the “buffer zone” between the Palestinian enclave and Israel often come under fire from military forces, as the Israeli military has not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.

The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sectors of the blockaded coastal enclave.
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