Israeli forces on Sunday at dawn opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the Gaza Strip, according to witnesses. Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli naval forces opened fire at the fishing boats while at sea in both the northern and southern Gaza Strip.
No injuries were reported.
Shortly after the fisherman were shot at, Israeli naval forces detained two fishermen and confiscated their boats off the cost of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, according to the head of the fishermen’s union Nizar Ayyash.
Ayyash told Ma’an that Israeli naval forces detained brothers Sahfiq and Saadi, confiscated their fishing boats boats and took the boats to Israel’s Ashdod port.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports of the incidents.
Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.
Palestinians who work near the “buffer zone” often come under fire from military forces, as the Israeli military has not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.
The Israeli army regularly open fires on Palestinian fishermen and farmers along the border areas, despite a ceasefire agreement that ended the 2014 war.
The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sectors of the blockaded coastal enclave.
Israeli forces also regularly detain Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza working within the fishing zone, generally for alleged security reasons.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Israeli forces detained 71 fishermen and confiscated 22 fishing boats throughout 2015.
The center said that Israeli naval forces also opened fire on Palestinian fishermen at least 139 times over the course of the year, wounding 24 and damaging 16 fishing boats.