The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), based in Gaza, has reported that the Israeli Navy kidnapped, on Sunday at night, two Palestinian fishermen near the coast of Beit Lahia city, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.The PCHR said that the soldiers kidnapped Mahmoud Zayed, 27, and his brother Khaled, as they were fishing in Palestinian territorial waters, and took them to an unknown destination before confiscating their boat.
The soldiers also prevented Palestinian fishermen in the area from fishing and forced them back to the shore.
Palestinian fishermen are only allowed to fish within three nautical miles off the Gaza shore due to illegal Israeli restrictions imposed as part of the Israeli siege on Gaza that was enforced starting in 2006.
Yet, Palestinian fishermen and their boats are constantly attacked within those three miles; dozens of casualties have been reported.
As part of the ceasefire agreement of November 2012, Israel agreed to allow the Palestinians to fish within six nautical miles of the shore, but unilaterally decreased the allotted area to three miles.
Under the Oslo accords in the mid-nineties, the Palestinians are allowed to fish in 20 nautical miles off the Gaza shore, but in 2008, Israel unilaterally reduced the fishing area to only three nautical miles.