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Israeli navy detains Palestinian fisherman in Gaza

Jan. 21, 2019 12:13 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 21, 2019 1:52 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces detained a 22-year-old Palestinian fisherman while working off the coast of the northern besieged Gaza Strip, on late Sunday.

The Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Zakariya Bakr, confirmed that Israeli authorities informed the family of the fisherman, Muhammad Hussam Bakr, 22, of his detention while working off the coast in northern Gaza.

The reason for Muhammad’s detention remained unknown.

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% of fishermen living below the poverty line.

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