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Israeli forces fire at Gaza fishermen, spray pesticides on Palestinian crops

May 9, 2017 10:14 A.M. (Updated: May 9, 2017 7:09 P.M.)
(File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, locals told Ma’an.

Fishermen said that Israeli forces shot at Palestinian fishing boats in two separate incidents off the northern coast of Gaza on Tuesday morning.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports.

Tuesday morning’s events came a day after Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian fisherman with live fire off the coat of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Gaza farmers told Ma’an that Israeli drones sprayed pesticides on Palestinian crops along the border with Israel in central and southern Gaza on Tuesday morning.

The pesticides, they said, damage crops in the area, which is Gaza's main agricultural region.

The army spokesperson also said she would look into the case.

Earlier this year, Gazan farmers said that Israeli forces regularly sprayed weed killers on both sides of the border fence to guarantee a clear view of the area for the army.

However, Gaza Ministry of Agriculture agronomist Wael Thabet told Ma’an at the time that the chemicals could travel up to 1,200 meters through the air away from the buffer zone, burning crops and causing Palestinian farmers huge economic losses.

Palestinians who work near the Israeli-designated “buffer zone,” which lies on both the land and sea sides of Gaza, 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.
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