Israeli forces open fire at Gaza fishermen

06:00 Mar 12 2018 Gaza's territorial waters

Israeli forces open fire at Gaza fishermen
Illustrative scene. File. Published by Maan News

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli boats were seen and heard opening fire towards fishermen.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities released a 15-year-old fisherman who was detained by Israeli naval forces on Monday off the coast of southern Gaza. He was identified as Ahmad Ziad al-Bardawil.

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.

Last month, Israeli forces shot and killed 18-year-old Ismail Saleh Abu Reyala while he was sailing. His body continues to be held by Israel.
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