Ten detained in Gaza as Israeli navy opens fire on fishermen
A general view taken on May 16, 2016 shows graffiti in Gaza City commemorating the "Nakba" or "catastrophe" in Arabic in reference to the establishment of Israel 68 years ago. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
Israeli naval forces on Sunday morning opened fire on Palestinian fishermen, before detaining 10 fishermen and seizing five boats in a separate incident in the northern Gaza Strip.
Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire on fishermen sailing off the coast of al-Wahah near the northern Gaza coast, with no injuries reported.
Meanwhile, 10 fishermen were detained by Israeli naval forces nearby and taken to an unknown location, as five of their boats were confiscated.
A spokesperson for the Union of Agricultural Work Committees Zakariyya Bakir identified the detained as Rasim Ishaq Zayid, Muhammad Ishaq Zayid, Saqir Yunis Zayid, Ayman Yunis Zayid, Asad Muhammad al-Sultan, Khalid Mahmoud Zayid, Muhammad Mahmud Sultan, Ayman Mahmoud Sultan, Ahmad Muhammad Zayid, and Ibrahim Zayid.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports.
Israeli forces regularly detain Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza working within the fishing zone, generally for alleged security reasons.
While Israeli authorities in April expanded the fishing zone designated for Palestinian fishermen to nine nautical miles in the southern Gaza Strip, and retained the six-mile zone in the north, fishermen regularly report detentions, live fire, and boat confiscation within these limits.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 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.
"These attacks occurred in a time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living," the center said.