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Israeli navy opens fire targeting Gaza fishermen

March 9, 2019 11:30 A.M. (Updated: March 10, 2019 10:52 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Saturday morning.

Locals reported that Israeli war boats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of al-Sudaniya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Sources added that Israeli naval forces also opened fire targeting fishermen off the coast of Sheikh Ajlin area in western Gaza City.

Fishermen were forced to head back to shore in fear for their lives; no injuries were reported.

Israeli warplanes had carried out several airstrikes across Gaza, earlier Saturday, targeting sites allegedly belonging to the Hamas movement.

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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