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Israeli forces raze lands, open fire on Palestinian fishermen in Gaza

March 21, 2018 1:47 P.M. (Updated: March 22, 2018 11:54 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) --Several Israeli bulldozers entered into the “buffer zone” along the northern Gaza border on Monday morning where they razed lands under heavy military protection.

Witnesses told Ma’an that six bulldozers, accompanied by military jeeps, entered 100 meters into Gaza territory, near Gaza City, where they razed lands in the area.

Meanwhile, along Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen while sailing off the northern and southern coasts of Gaza.

No injuries were reported.

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.

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