File photo: Gaza fisherman is intercepted by Israeli Naval Forces

Israeli navy kidnap two fishermen off Gaza coast

PNN/ Gaza/

The Israeli occupation navy on Sunday morning kidnapped two fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip and confiscated their boat.

A local committee documenting Israel’s violations against Gaza fishermen said, in a press release, that Israeli gunboats encircled and opened fire at a fishing boat off the northern shores of Gaza, rounded up two fishermen aboard it and towed it to an unknown place.

The seized boat belongs to Adnan Abu Rayyala and the two detained fishermen are his sons, Sha’ban, 33, and Mohamed, 20, according to the committee.

Israeli gunboats are around Gaza fishermen every day, harassing them, shooting at them, damaging or seizing their boats, and making arrests. Sometimes fishermen are injured or killed during gunfire attacks.

Under the 1993 Oslo accords, Palestinian fishermen are permitted to fish up to 20 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza. Over the past 18 years, however, Israel has reduced the fishing area gradually to a limit of three nautical miles as part of its blockade on Gaza.

But fishermen and human rights groups say that, since the 2008-09 war in Gaza, the Israeli army regularly enforces a limit even closer to the shore.