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Israel fires at Gaza fishing boats 

Bullet holes can be seen following the Israeli attack on a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of Gaza on 25 February 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli gunboats this morning opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to local sources, gunboats fired projectiles into the sea near boats off the shore of as-Sudaniya area, northwest of Gaza.

Gunboats also opened fire at other fishing boats off the Gaza shore. No one was hurt in the attacks.

Under the 1993 Oslo accords, Palestinian fishermen are permitted to fish up to 20 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, but Israel continuously reduces the fishing area, often limiting it to between three to six nautical miles as part of its blockade on Gaza.

According to the Palestinian Fishermen's Association in Gaza, there are some 4,000 fishermen working in Gaza's fishing sector, who are looking after about 50,000 dependents.

READ: Israel navy confiscate, destroy Gaza fishing boat

The profession has been deemed dangerous by rights organisations due to Israel's harassment of fishermen at sea.

Last year alone, Israeli occupation forces attacked Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip on at least 320 occasions, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) reported, 63 more attacks than the previous year. Israel also closed the fishing area altogether for 16 days in August.

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