Israeli naval forces shoot at Gaza fishermen

Israeli naval forces shoot at Gaza fishermen
Gaza locals have said Israeli warships have fired on Palestinian fishermen without provocation was the siege on the land strip continues.
1 min read
01 October, 2017
Israel targets the Gaza fishing industry as a part of its ongoing siege [Getty]

Israel opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza, on Saturday morning, continuing its naval assault on the besieged enclave. 

Locals told Palestine based Maan News Agency that Israeli naval forces had targeted a number of fishermen for no apparent reason.

No injuries were reported.

In May, Israel expanded the Gaza fishing zone to nine nautical miles, as opposed to six nautical miles.

The fishing zone expansion only took place in the southern part of the territory, while Israel continues to hamper severe restrictions on the Gazan fishing industry.

Prior to Israel's blockade, there was a thriving fishing sector in Gaza, with fresh produce from the area sold across Israel and the West Bank.

But Israeli restrictions on Gaza have all but crippled the fishing industry, and 95 percent of fishermen now live below the poverty line, according to rights group B'Tselem.

In 2016, Israel's military detained 113 fishermen and the navy routinely opens fire at fishermen to enforce the limited fishing zone.

Due to the blockade, it is near impossible to obtain the parts needed to maintain fishing vessels, and since 2000 the number of fishermen has reduced by over half.