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Israeli navy detains 2 fishermen, seizes boat in Gaza

Oct. 6, 2018 12:06 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 6, 2018 4:26 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of northern besieged Gaza City, on Saturday morning.

Head of the Fishermen Union in Gaza, Nizar Ayyash, said that the Israeli navy detained two fishermen brothers, identifying them as Safwat and Rifaat Zayid.

Ayyash pointed out that Israeli forces also confiscated Zayid's boat and transferred them to an unknown location.

Israeli naval forces had surrounded several boats before reportedly attacking Zayid's boat.

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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