Israeli Naval Boats Open Gunfire on Palestinian Fishermen Offshore Gaza

GAZA, April 15, 2015 (WAFA) – In a grave violation of international law and signed agreements, Israeli naval boats Wednesday opened machine gunfire on Palestinian fishermen offshore the city of Gaza.

According to WAFA reporter, sounds of explosions and gunfire were heard in the western part of the city. It said that Israeli naval boats fired at least two missiles and opened machine gunfire on fishing boats sailing within the unilaterally-imposed six-nautical-miles fishing zone offshore Gaza, causing damages to them.

No injuries were reported among the fishermen who fled the scene for fear of being injured, killed or arrested.

Meanwhile, Israeli F-16 warplanes were reportedly hovering over the area.

Israeli naval boats routinely open fire on Palestinian fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-miles zone and farmlands along the border, flagrantly violating the ceasefire deal.

Israel and the Palestinian factions inked a ceasefire deal on August 26, ending the latest 2014 Israeli onslaught on Gaza that claimed the lives of over 2,200 people, overwhelmingly civilians.

The ceasefire deal stipulated that Israel would immediately ease the blockade imposed on the strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.

Israel has however failed to do so, repeatedly violating the ceasefire deal through opening fire on Palestinian fishermen within the fishing zone and reducing their income.

Continuing the Cairo-brokered talks on other key issues was repeatedly postponed in the wake of November attacks against Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula.

Israel has imposed a tightened blockade since 2007 after Hamas won the democratic legislative elections and took over power in the strip.

The current six-nautical-mile fishing zone falls drastically short of the twenty nautical miles allocated to Palestinian fishermen in the 1993 Oslo Accords.