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Israeli navy attacks, detains 5 Gaza fishermen

Aug. 12, 2018 10:46 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 13, 2018 9:57 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces attacked a number of Palestinian fishing boats and detained several of the fishermen on Sunday in the northern besieged Gaza Strip.

Nizar Ayyash, the boat captain, told Ma'an that the Israeli naval forces fired at the fishing boats and detained five Palestinian fishermen, who were taken to an unknown location.

Following the attack, Israeli naval forces confiscated the fishing boats and sailed them towards the Israeli Ashdod seaport.

Ayyash identified the detained fishermen as Hassan Fadel Baker and his brother, Nasser, along with his three sons Yasser, Ahmad, and Fadel Nasser Baker.

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.

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, 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 nearly 12 years.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Israel’s Gaza siege and “harassment of fishermen” have been “destroying Gaza’s fishing sector,” with 95 percent of fishermen living below the poverty line.

The Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) issued its annual report for 2017 showing Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the besieged Gaza Strip, highlighting that “these attacks deny fishermen from practicing their fishing work and accessing their livelihood resources.”

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