Israeli forces shoot, Palestinian fisherman off Gaza coast

Israeli forces have shot and injured a Palestinian man with a rubber-coated steel bullet off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.

Fisherman Khalid Zayid was shot on Wednesday evening while he was fishing off the coast of the town of Beit Lahiya, Ma’an News Agency quoted local sources as saying.

The Israeli military has declined to comment on the incident.

Under a ceasefire deal reached in 2014, Israel agreed to immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles off the shore. The agreement also stipulated that Israel would expand the area gradually up to 12 miles.

Palestinian fishermen, however, say that the Israeli navy opens fire before they reach the agreed limit.

Twenty-nine attacks by Israeli forces on Palestinian fisherman have been reported since September 1 last year by Gaza-based watchdog al-Mezan Center for Human Rights; however, due to the normalcy of such incidents, attacks often go unreported.

The center also said that 42 fishermen had been detained and 12 fishing boats confiscated in the same period.

Israeli forces on March 7, 2015, attacked a Palestinian boat off the coast of Gaza and injured a Palestinian fisherman, Tawfiq Abu Reala. The 32-year-old Palestinian man later died at hospital in Gaza City.

Around 4,000 fishermen work in Gaza, with more than half of them living below the poverty line.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israel’s blockade since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.


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