Israeli naval forces, Wednesday morning, injured a Palestinian fisherman and detained two others off the shore of al-Sudaniya, northwest of Gaza city.

WAFA correspondence reported that the navy opened gunfire and shot water hoses towards a fishing boat sailing three nautical miles off the shore, injuring a fisherman with a rubber-coated steel bullet, in the back.

Two other fishermen were forced to strip off their clothes and swim to the naval ships before being detained. The fishing boat was seized and escorted to the Israeli seaport of Ashdod.

Israel has maintained a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas won the elections and took over power in the strip in 2007, denying the impoverished enclave’s population of two million their basic rights and causing a decline in their standard of living, coupled with unprecedented rates of unemployment and poverty.

Under the Oslo Accords signed in 1993, Israel is obligated to permit fishing up to 20 nautical miles, but this has never been implemented.

Israel maintains a heavy naval presence, restricting any traffic in and out of the enclave, as well as the distance Gaza’s fishermen can travel to fish, severely affecting the livelihoods of some 4,000 fishermen and at least 1,500 more people involved in the fishing industry.

Israel has, over the past decade, launched three major onslaughts on Gaza that have heavily damaged much of the enclave’s infrastructure.

Since March 30, 2018, Gazans have been launching the weekly Great March of Return protests, along Gaza’s eastern frontier with Israel, calling for lifting the 12-year blockade and demanding their right to return to their lands, from which their families were expelled during the founding of Israel, in 1948.

(archive photo image)