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Israeli navy opens fire at unarmed Palestinian fishermen in Gaza

April 26, 2017 11:16 A.M. (Updated: April 26, 2017 2:01 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli navy boats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning, forcing the fishermen to head back to shore "in fear for their lives," witnesses told Ma'an.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the incident to Ma'an, claiming that a fishing boat "deviated from the designating fishing zone." She said Israeli forces fired toward the vessel, which retreated back inside the fishing zone.

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

Palestinians who work near the “buffer zone” often come under fire from Israeli military forces, as the authorities have not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.

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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