[Wednesday Morning, May 21, 2014] Israeli navy vessels attacked Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza waters, close to the shore in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and kidnapped two fishermen.Eyewitnesses have reported that the navy fired rounds of live ammunition at boats belonging residents Ramez Jom’a and Imad Mansour while fishing within the six allocated nautical miles, and took the two men to an unknown destination.
The Israeli navy frequently attacks Palestinian fishing boats in Palestinian waters, and even while docked at the Gaza shore. The attacks lead to property damage, in addition to dozens of casualties and arrests.
Late Monday, two fishermen were shot and injured after Israeli navy boats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats near the Rafah shore, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
In related news, a number of military vehicles invaded Palestinian farmlands, east of the al-Qarara town, north of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Eyewitnesses have reported that the army advanced more than 200 meters into Palestinian lands, and opened fire at a number of nearby homes; damage was reported, no injuries.
There are some 4,000 fishermen in Gaza and, according to a 2011 report by the International Committee of the Red Cross, 90 percent of them are impoverished — a 40 percent increase from 2008, due to Israeli-imposed limits on the industry.
As part of the ceasefire agreement of November 2012, Israel agreed to allow the Palestinians to fish within six nautical miles, but unilaterally decreased the allotted area to three miles.
Last May, Israel decided to allow the fishermen to fish within six nautical miles, but the Israeli navy continued to attack them, even within the three nautical miles.
Under the Oslo accords of the mid-nineties, Palestinians are supposed to be allowed to fish within 20 nautical miles off the Gaza shore, but Tel Aviv has constantly violated the agreement.