Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen as they were sailing off the coast of Rafah City, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday morning, according to local sources.
No injuries were reported, according to Ma’an. The fishermen said they were forced to head back to shore afterwards “in fear for their lives.”
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.
Several Israeli military vehicles entered into the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, razing lands along the border with Israel.
Witnesses said that four Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into the town of Khuzaa, in the eastern Khan Younis district.
The bulldozers razed and leveled lands across from the “camps of return,” set up by Palestinian protesters along the border.
Israeli soldiers also reportedly repaired portions of its border fence that had previously been pulled down by Palestinian youth.