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Israeli naval forces open fire at Gaza fishing boats

March 16, 2017 11:20 A.M. (Updated: March 16, 2017 6:01 P.M.)
(File)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza City on Thursday.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli navy ships opened fire heavily at fishermen who were sailing within the Israel-designated fishing zone, forcing them to head back to shore.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces “fired warning shots into the air” when a fishing boat “deviated from the designated fishing zone” off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army regularly opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach Israel’s unilaterally declared “buffer zone,” which lies on both the land and sea sides of Gaza.

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

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 incursions to just six nautical miles into the sea in accordance with the ceasefire agreement signed with Palestinian factions in 2014.
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