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Israeli forces injure fisherman, detain four others in Gaza

Feb. 21, 2019 1:40 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 21, 2019 4:52 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Three Palestinian fishermen were injured when Israeli navy boats attacked them while sailing south of the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the fishermen.

Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Zakariya Bakr, told Ma'an that the Israeli navy detained four Palestinian fishermen 11 nautical miles off the coast of Khan Younis City in the southern Gaza Strip.

Bakr identified the detainees as Khader Marwan al-Saidi, Muhammad Said al-Saidi, and brothers Haitham and Awni Tareq Bakr.

Israeli forces confiscated the fishermen's two boats after heavily opening fire at them.

Meanwhile off the coast of Rafah, a Palestinian fisherman was injured after an Israeli naval forces boat ran into his fishing boat, causing damages to the boat as well.

The injured fisherman, identified as Abdullah Hatem Abu Sulaima, was transferred to a hospital for treatment.

According to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel’s blockade of the coastal enclave has seriously undermined the ability for Gazan fishermen to make a living at sea.

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% of fishermen living below the poverty line.
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