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Israel releases 5 Palestinian fishermen after hours of detention

Dec. 4, 2017 3:18 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 5, 2017 6:36 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Monday morning released five Palestinian fishermen who had been detained overnight off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli naval forces detained the fishermen Sunday night and seized their boats, which still remain in Israeli custody.

Palestinian security sources told Ma’n that the five fishermen -- identified as Sami Abu al-Sadeq, Ahmad Abu al-Sadeq, Sayyid al-Halabi and brothers Ayman and Ihab Tulbeh -- were released back into Gaza via the Erez crossing with Israel.

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the so-called ‘buffer zone’, 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, which has been under an Israeli air, land, and sea blockade for 10 years.

The al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported in that between January and May of 2017, Israel had seized five fishing boats, detained 14 Palestinian fishermen, shot and injured four, while two fishermen were killed.

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