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Israeli forces release 5 Gazan fishermen

Aug. 12, 2016 9:27 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 14, 2016 4:16 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities released on Friday evening five Palestinian fishermen who were detained earlier Friday off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip

Locals told Ma’an that the Israeli authorities released Said Jumaa Bakr, Mahmoud Said Bakr, Ibrahim Said Bakr, Yasser Nasser Bakr, and Ahmad Mahmoud al-Loh.

Israeli naval forces opened live fire at the fishermen’s boats off the coast of the northern part of the besieged Gaza Strip, before detaining the five men and confiscating their boats, according to the head of the fishermen union Zakariya Bakr.

The Israeli army regularly open fires on Palestinian fishermen and farmers along the border areas, despite a ceasefire agreement that ended the 2014 war.

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

Israeli forces also 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 (PCHR), Israeli forces detained 71 fishermen and confiscated 22 fishing boats throughout 2015.

The center said that Israeli naval forces also opened fire on Palestinian fishermen at least 139 times over the course of the year, wounding 24 and damaging 16 fishing boats.

"These attacks occurred in a time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living," PCHR said.

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