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Israel releases detained fishermen, opens fire at shepherds in Gaza

Jan. 2, 2019 12:59 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 3, 2019 12:04 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Israeli authorities released two Palestinian fishermen, on Wednesday morning, who were detained a day earlier, off the coast of the northern besieged Gaza Strip.

Sources at the Palestinian liaison told Ma’an that the Israeli authorities released fishermen Issa al-Sharafi, 60, and his son Mahmoud, 30, via the Erez (Beit Hanoun) crossing.

The fishermen’s boat that was confiscated by Israeli forces during their detention remained in custody.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian shepherds near Erez.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli forces, deployed at military towers near Erez crossing, opened fire towards Palestinian shepherds.

No injuries were reported.

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.
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