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Israeli forces detain fisherman, open fire at farmers in the Gaza Strip

Aug. 27, 2016 10:46 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2016 6:30 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces Saturday morning detained a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, while Israeli forces opened live fire at Palestinian farmers working near the separation barrier east of the neighborhoods of al-Zaytun and Shujayya.

Head of the fishermen union Nizar Ayyash told Ma'an that Israeli military vessels chased several fishing boats off the coast of Gaza, detaining Al-Abid Zaki Tarush, while the other boats fled.

Israeli forces also opened live fire at farmers east of Gaza city. Witnesses said Israeli forces stationed at the separation barrier between the besieged enclave and Israel and opened live fire at farmers working on the their lands. No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they would look into reports on the incidents.

Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone" which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.

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 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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