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Israeli naval forces open fire on Gaza fishermen

May 9, 2018 3:59 P.M. (Updated: May 10, 2018 4:28 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen as they were sailing off the coast of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, according to local sources.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli naval boats opened fire towards several Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Rafah.

No injuries were reported. The fishermen said they were forced to head back to shore afterwards “in fear for their lives.”

As part of Israel's blockade of the coastal enclave since 2007, the Israeli army, citing security concerns, requires Palestinian fishermen to work within a limited "designated fishing zone," the exact limits of which are decided by the Israeli authorities and have historically fluctuated.

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the unilaterally declared buffer zone.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem recently concluded that Israel’s Gaza closure and “harassment of fishermen” have been “destroying Gaza’s fishing sector,” with 95 percent of fishermen living below the poverty line.

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