The Israel occupation’s navy today opened fire on Palestinian fishermen as they were sailing off the coast of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, forcing them to return to shore, according to local sources.
WAFA correspondent said the Israeli navy fired live bullets and water cannons towards fishermen who were sailing off Rafah shores, forcing them to leave to the shore.
Israeli naval forces and their gunboats have long been harassing Gaza fishermen, shooting at them, damaging their boats and making arrests. Sometimes fishermen were injured or killed during gunfire attacks.
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-kilometre-length 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.