Israeli navy detains 5 fishermen off Gaza coast

By Nour Abu Aisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Israeli naval forces on Sunday detained five Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip, according to a local official.

“The five fishermen were detained while fishing off northern Gaza’s shores,” Nizar Ayyash, head of Gaza's fishermen union, told Anadolu Agency.

There was no comment from the Israeli Navy on the report.

According to the fishermen union, roughly 50,000 Gazans earn their living from fishing.

After Israel's devastating military onslaught against Hamas-run Gaza in mid-2014, in which some 2,150 Palestinians were killed, Israel began allowing Palestinian fishermen to fish up to six nautical miles off the Gaza coast, as opposed to three nautical miles previously.

In May, Israeli authorities increased the fishing area for Gazan fishermen to nine nautical miles.

Last month, however, Israel reduced the fishing area to only three nautical miles as part of punitive measures against Gazans over the launch of incendiary balloons from the Palestinian territory into Israel as part of ongoing protests against the decades-long Israeli occupation and an 11-year blockade on the seaside enclave.