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Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinian fishermen, level lands in Gaza

April 30, 2017 10:35 A.M. (Updated: April 30, 2017 5:07 P.M.)
(File)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- Israeli naval forces detained two Palestinian fishermen after opening fire on their fishing boats off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, while Israeli military bulldozers also staged a limited incursion inside the small Palestinian territory, locals sources told Ma'an.

Witnesses said that Israeli naval forces detained Shabaan and Muhammad Abu Raiyala after chasing their fishing boats and opening fire at them off the coast of Gaza City.

Separately, four Israeli military bulldozers crossed tens of meters past the border lines into Palestinian lands in the town of al-Qarara south of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, and started leveling lands as Israeli reconnaissance drones flew overhead.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were looking into reports of the two incidients.

Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone," which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.

Palestinians who work near the “buffer zone” 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.

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

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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