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Israeli navy opens fire at fishermen in Gaza

Nov. 14, 2018 1:35 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 14, 2018 4:40 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Head of the Fishermen Committees in the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Zakaria Bakr, confirmed, on Wednesday, that the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture informed the fishermen to resume work along the besieged Gaza Strip's coast.

Bakr told Ma'an that Palestinian fishermen were informed to resume fishing within the permitted fishing zone, that is three nautical miles off of coast, in northern Gaza.

Bakr mentioned that the Palestinian fishermen were shocked when Israeli naval forces opened fire at them, forcing them to sail back to shore.

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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