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Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza coast

Aug. 23, 2017 12:51 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 23, 2017 4:30 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli navy forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen working off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, causing no injuries, according to a Gaza-based NGO.

The al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that at around 7 a.m., Israeli forces fired toward the fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya, and as a result, the fishermen were forced to stop fishing and sailed back to shore.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that after "a vessel deviated from the designated fishing zone, forces called on the vessel to halt." After the fishing zone continued, according to the spokesperson, soldiers fired "warning shots" and the fishermen returned within the fishing zone.

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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