Israeli naval forces shot and killed a Palestinian fisherman Saturday just off the coast of Gaza Strip. According to the a Gaza Strip health ministry spokesman, Tawfiq Abu Riala, 32, was caught in the line of fire on the boat and two additional Palestinian fishermen were arrested.
The Israeli Navy stated they identified a few sea-faring vessels in the area that had, “deviated from the designated fishing zone,” thus causing them to cease further movement. However, the Palestinian boat did not comply with the forces’ order before they opened fire on the boat to disable the engine. According to military officials, it not yet known how one of the fisherman was caught in the line of fire.
Currently, Israel maintains a naval blockade around the Gaza Strip to inhibit foreign weapons trafficking to ISIS and Hamas insurgents that have makeshift outposts in the area. After last year’s 50-day war in the Gaza Strip, Israel agreed to increase the fishing zone permitted to six nautical miles for those coming from the Gaza Strip. Israel has also lowered restrictions to allow Gaza-based fisherman to export fish to the West Bank, the first time since 2007.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Israel Defense Forces – Flickr License