Israel arrests four Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast

Israel arrests four Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast
1 min read
22 February, 2023
More Palestinian fishermen were arrested by Israel's naval forces on Wednesday.
Israel has placed tight restrictions on Gaza's fishing industry [Getty/archive]

Four Palestinian fishermen were arrested by the Israeli navy off the shores of the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

"The Israeli navy arrested four fishermen this morning after chasing and shooting at them" in the sea off Gaza, the head of the Palestinian fishermen's syndicate in the besieged territory, Nizar Ayyash, told Anadolu Agency.

No injuries were reported during the arrest, Ayyah added.

"The Israeli navy took the fishermen, their boats, and their equipment towards the Ashdod port," he said.

There were no immediate comments by the Israeli army.

Ayyash said the men were not in violation of the fishing zone, as they were inside permitted waters - six nautical miles to the north towards Israel.

While fishing is an integral part of Gaza's economy, which sustains thousands of Palestinian families living in the enclave, Israel had placed tight restrictions on the industry.

As part of its siege of Gaza, which began in 2007 following Hamas' takeover of the enclave, Israel limits the areas in which Palestinian fishing boats can operate.

Rights groups have slammed the blockade as a form of illegal collective punishment.