Israeli forces open fire on Gaza fishermen, two detained

Published July 27th, 2016 - 02:00 GMT
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)
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 forces Wednesday morning opened fire on Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip and detained two Palestinians, according to Gaza-based rights groups.

The two detained were identified by the groups as Mohammad Yasin Zayed and Tariq Abdalbari Alsultan. The groups added that their fishing boats were confiscated by Israeli forces and transported to an unknown location.

The two were reportedly detained after Israeli forces opened fire on them. No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that after Palestinian fishing vessels "deviated from designated fishing zone," Israeli forces fired "warning shots" into they air, and after the susepcts continued to advance, Israeli forces fired more warning shots in the area.

She added that Israeli forces escorted the suspects to the Gaza Strip's Ashdod port where they were briefly detained, questioned, and then returned to Gaza City.
 
Israeli forces 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, 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.

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