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Israeli navy detains 6 fishermen in Gaza

Sept. 2, 2018 11:06 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 3, 2018 1:40 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces opened fire on a number of fishing boats and detained six Palestinian fishermen on Sunday in the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to local witnesses, Israeli naval forces detained six Palestinian fishermen in the central Gaza Strip as they were working within the permitted zone.

Witnesses identified the detainees as Zaki Ibrahim al-Najjar, Ahmad Mahmoud Abu Ryala, Mahmoud Jihad Abu Awda, Muhammad Jihad Abu Awda, Jihad Muhammad Abu Awda, and Muhammad Bahjat Abu Awda.

The reason for their detention remained unknown.

Several hours after the detention, Israeli naval forces opened fire on a number of Palestinian fishing boats in northern Gaza.

Sources added that Israeli naval forces continued to fire and chased down the fishing boats, forcing them to sail back to shore.

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.

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