Israeli naval forces detain two Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast
Palestinian authorities say Israeli naval forces have detained two fishermen after opening fire on a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip.
The local Union of Agricultural Work Committees said in a statement that the fishermen, identified as brothers Safwat and Ra’fat Zayed, were targeted while fishing two nautical miles away from the coast of al-Sudaniya area in Gaza City on Saturday morning.
The statement added that Israeli forces arrested the pair, before seizing their fishing equipment and taking them to an unknown location.
There was no comment from the Israeli military on the arrest.
According to Palestinian estimates, roughly 50,000 Gazans earn their living from fishing.
Israel imposed a limit of three nautical miles on fishing in the waters off the Gaza shore until August 2014, when Palestinian fishermen were allowed to go out six miles under a ceasefire agreement reached between the Israelis and Palestinians following a deadly 50-day Israeli war in the same month.
The fishing zone is supposed to extend to 20 nautical miles under the Oslo Accords. The Oslo Accords were signed between the Israeli regime and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) during the early-mid 1990s to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In May 2017, Israeli authorities increased the fishing area for Gazan fishermen to nine nautical miles.
Over the past few years, Israeli forces have carried out more than a hundred attacks on Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating several boats.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Hundreds march in funeral processions for Gazans killed by Israeli troops
Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians have taken part in funeral processions for three people killed during anti-occupation rallies along the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied territories.
On Saturday, mourners gathered in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shuja’iyya to bid farewell to 12-year-old Faris Hafez al-Sersawi, who was fatally shot during “The Great March of Return” protests east of Gaza City a day earlier.
Mourners also buried the bodies of Mahmoud Akram Abu Samaan, 24, and 28-year-old Hussein Fathi al-Raqab in the central and southern parts of Gaza.
Nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since the anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 21,600 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
On June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.
The resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries, garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with eight votes against and 45 abstentions.
The resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
It also called for “immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip.”