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Israeli navy opens fire at Gaza fishermen

Jan. 31, 2018 1:44 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 1, 2018 12:53 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval boats opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Palestinian fishermen were forced to sail their boats back to shore after they came under fire.

No injuries were reported in either of the locations.

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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