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Israeli forces open live fire on Palestinian fishermen in Gaza

April 29, 2017 10:19 A.M. (Updated: April 29, 2017 4:05 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishing boats on Saturday morning off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.

Witnesses told Ma’an that the Israeli navy opened fire at Palestinian fishermen near al-Sudaniyyeh and forced them back to the shore.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces had fired "warning shots" into the air after Palestinian fishermen "deviated from the designated fishing zone." After the fishermen allegedly ignored the warnings, Israeli forces shot at the boats, the spokesperson said.

The Israeli army regularly detains and 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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