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Israeli forces open fire at farmers, fishermen in Gaza

Jan. 22, 2019 11:06 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 23, 2019 1:07 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces opened fire, on Tuesday morning, towards Palestinian farmers working in their lands in multiple locations in the besieged Gaza Strip, while the Israeli navy targeted fishermen at sea.

Eyewitnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces opened fire towards Palestinian farmers, who were working in their agricultural lands in the eastern and southern parts of Gaza.

The farmers were forced to leave their lands in fear for their lives.

Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces repeatedly opened heavy fire at fishing boats, forcing fishermen to sail back to shore.

No injuries were reported from neither of the incidents.

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.

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.

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% of fishermen living below the poverty line.

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