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Witnesses: Israeli forces attempt to drown Gaza fishing boat with wastewater

Nov. 7, 2016 12:28 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 7, 2016 9:03 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- Israeli naval forces attempted to drown a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the central Gaza Strip on Monday, according to witnesses.

Local fishermen told Ma’an that Israeli naval boats pumped wastewater towards Muhammad Adel Abu Rayala’s fishing boat “in an attempt to drown him.”

The large amounts of sewage water being pumped towards his boat caused Abu Rayala to faint. He was transferred to al-Shifa hospital for medical treatment.

Witnesses added that Abu Rayala’s boat was partially damaged in the incident.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

Palestinians fishermen often come under attack from Israeli forces, usually in the form of live fire.

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.

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