Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday morning.

Locals said that Israeli war boats were seen and heard opening fire at Gazan fishermen as they were working withing the permitted fishing zone.

No injuries were reported, according to Ma’an.

As part of Israel’s blockade of the coastal enclave since 2007, the Israeli army, citing security concerns, requires Palestinian fishermen to work within a limited “designated fishing zone,” the exact limits of which are decided by the Israeli authorities and have historically fluctuated.

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds and farmers along the border areas, if they approach the unilaterally declared buffer zone.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem recently concluded that Israel’s Gaza closure and “harassment of fishermen” have been “destroying Gaza’s fishing sector,” with 95 percent of fishermen living below the poverty line.

On Tuesday, Israeli authorities detained a Palestinian merchant, identified as Bassam Abu Sharia, at the Erez crossing (Beit Hanoun), between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip.

Sharia was immediately transferred to an unknown location.

The Israeli authorities have detained five Palestinian merchants, since the beginning of the year, as they tried to pass through the crossing in northern Gaza.

(images: PNN, Al Ray)

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