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Israeli navy arrest 14 fishermen off Gaza coast

Israeli naval forces have arrested 14 Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast and seized their boats, MEMO’s correspondent in Gaza has reported.

Witnesses said that Israeli gunboats opened fire on the fishermen before approaching them, arresting the fishermen and seizing their fishing boats.

The head of the Syndicate of Gaza Fishermen Nizar Ayyash said that the Israeli navy took the fishermen and their boats to the Israeli port of Ashdod north of the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has recorded at least 117 incidents of Israeli occupation forces opening fire on fishermen in the first nine months of 2015, wounding dozens. The centre also recorded the arrest of 15 others.

“These attacks occurred at a time when the fishermen did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living,” the centre said.

Despite Israel’s pledge to expand the fishing zone following last year’s offensive on Gaza, the limits have remained.

The nine-year Israeli, Egyptian and international blockade on Gaza has devastated the livelihood of around 4,000 fishermen living in the coastal enclave.

Images by MEMO photographer Mohammed Asad.

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