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Israeli navy detains 2 Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza coast

Aug. 11, 2017 10:40 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 12, 2017 4:46 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces on Friday morning detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, according to local sources.

The Palestinian Fishermen Union said in a statement that the Israeli navy detained brothers Saddam and Uday Abd al-Bari al-Sultan.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that after a vessel "deviated from the designated fishing zone," warning shots were fired in the air, and then at the vessel. When the vessel allegedly did not respond to the warning shots, Israeli forces took the vessel to Ashdod port in southern Israel, where the two fishermen were transferred for interrogation.

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the so-called “buffer zone” -- on the Gaza side of the Israeli-Gaza border -- 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.

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