The Israeli occupation’s navy today assaulted Palestinian fishermen while they were sailing off the southern shores of the Gaza Strip, forcing them to return to the shore, according to local sources.
The Israeli navy fired live bullets and teargas towards fishermen sailing off the city of Rafah, forcing them to stop fishing and return to the shore. No injuries were reported.
Israeli naval forces and their gunboats have long been harassing fishermen in Gaza, shooting at them, damaging their boats and making arrests. In some occasions, fishermen were injured or even killed during gunfire attacks by the Israeli navy.
In addition to attacking fishermen, Israel regularly bans boats from accessing the water and reduces the fishing zone which Palestinians from Gaza can access.
Israeli naval authorities have been enforcing a naval blockade on Gaza’s 40-kilometer-long coast since 2007.
The blockade has restricted fishing for the 3,700 registered fishermen in Gaza – the majority of whom live below the poverty line by shrinking the fishing zone from 25 nautical miles, down to only six to nine nautical miles, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.