GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Israeli navy opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, locals said.Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli navy boats opened fire at fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the blockaded Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. Israeli forces deployed at the borderline between the besieged Palestinian territory and Israel also reportedly opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands east of Rafah City. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports.
Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence. Palestinians who work near the “buffer zone” between the Palestinian enclave and Israel often come under fire from military forces, as the Israeli military has not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.
The Israeli army regularly open fires on Palestinian fishermen and farmers along the border areas, despite a ceasefire agreement that ended the 2014 war.The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR said that Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen at least 139 times in 2015, 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,” PCHR said.The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sectors of the blockaded coastal enclave.