Israeli naval forces abducted, on Thursday evening, four Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Rafah city, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.

Local fishermen sources reported that a number of Israeli naval vessels attacked a Palestinian fishing boat, off the coast of Rafah city, before soldiers abducted four of the fishermen on board.

The sources identified those abducted as Emad Albardaweel, Mohammad Siyam, Wadee’ Albardaweel and Khaled Albardaweel.

The abduction occurred within the fishing zone, determined earlier by the Israeli naval authorities and that the fishermen were attempting to earn a living under harsh economic conditions, across the Israel-besieged Gaza Strip, the sources noted.

They added that the naval forces also seized the fishermens’ fishing boat.

Since Israel imposed a land, air and sea blockade of Gaza, in 2007, its navy has repeatedly attacked Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, resulting in the death of many fishermen, injury of dozens others, and the abduction of many hundreds, as well as damage of hundreds of fishing boats.

Prior to the Israeli siege of Gaza, around 3,000 Palestinian fishermen used to sail within 25 nautical miles, off the coast. For the time being, fishing is limited by Israeli authorities to within 6 to 9 nautical miles. Last year, Israel allowed fishing within 15 nautical miles, but only in the southern parts of the coastal enclave.