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Israeli navy detains 2 Palestinian fishermen off Gaza's coast

March 11, 2019 1:05 P.M. (Updated: March 11, 2019 3:13 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces detained two Palestinian fishermen, on Monday, off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.

Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Zakariya Bakr, told Ma'an that the Israeli navy detained two fishermen, who were working less than one nautical mile off the coast, which was within the permitted fishing zone.

Bakr identified the two fishermen as Muhammad Adnan al-Sultan and Hassan Akram Zayed.

The two fishermen were taken to an unknown location.

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.

According to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in 1994, a permitted fishing range of 20 nautical miles was agreed on between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). In practice, Israel only allowed fishing up to 12 nautical miles until 2006, when the fishing zone was reduced to six and later to three.

OCHA found that the blockade has seriously undermined the ability for Gazan fishermen to make a living at sea.

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