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Israeli naval forces open fire at Palestinian fishermen, leaving 1 injured

Jan. 23, 2017 10:33 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 23, 2017 5:15 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern besieged Gaza Strip in the early hours of Monday morning, with one fisherman being shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet, a week after he was detained by Israeli forces while fishing.

Head of the Gaza fishermen’s union Zakariya Bakr told Ma’an that 22-year-old Auranus al-Sultan was in a stable condition after sustaining a head injury from the rubber bullet.

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

The young fisherman was among five Palestinian fishermen who were detained last Monday, after Israeli forces opened fire on them and seized their boats.

Israeli army incursions inside the Palestinian territory have long been a near-daily occurrence, as the Israeli army regularly opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen and farmers along the border areas.

There have also been intermittent reports of Israeli forces attempting to sink the boats of fishermen as they approach Israel’s unilaterally declared “buffer zone,” which lies on both the land and sea sides of Gaza.

Gazan fishermen, whose numbers are estimated to be around 4,000, have suffered from the near decade-long siege of the Gaza Strip, which limits their fishing to just six nautical miles into the sea in accordance with the ceasefire agreement signed with Palestinian factions in 2014.

Earlier this month, a Palestinian fisherman went missing after an encounter with Israeli forces off the coast of Gaza, with his family announcing his death days later despite his body having yet to be recovered.
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