World, Middle East

Israeli navy detains two Gazan fishermen: Union chief

Navy frequently arrests Palestinian fishermen plying their trade off coast of blockaded Gaza

Israeli navy detains two Gazan fishermen: Union chief FILE PHOTO

By Mustafa Habbush

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Israeli naval forces on Saturday arrested two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip, according to Gaza’s fishermen’s union.

"Israeli naval vessels opened fire on a small Palestinian fishing boat before boarding it and detaining two fishermen," union head Nizar Ayyash told Anadolu Agency.

Ayyash identified the two detained fishermen as Mohamed Abu Riala, 24, and his brother, Atef, 16.

The Israeli military, for its part, has yet to comment on the reported incident.

According to Palestinian figures, roughly 50,000 residents of the blockaded Gaza Strip earn their living from fishing.

After Israel's 2014 military onslaught against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip (in which more than 2,150 Palestinians were killed), Israel began allowing Palestinian fishermen to ply their trade up to six nautical miles off Gaza’s coast.

In May, the Israeli authorities increased the limit to nine nautical miles.

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