The Israeli Navy fired on a boat that violated the maritime limit and ignored several warnings off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel a military spokesman said on Sunday.
A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, who was traveling in the boat with two others, was killed in the incident.
The Gaza fisherman’s union said the boat was targeted as it made its way back to Gaza, and Nizar Ayyash, the secretary of the Gaza fisherman’s syndicate, said in a statement to Reuters that the men did not violate the maritime limit.
Israel has maintained a blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is dominated by Hamas Islamists, for more than a decade. It patrols the waters to prevent arms smuggling and protects citizens from any terrorist or militant attack from the sea.
“Israeli forces targeted a Palestinian fishing boat which was on the way back to Gaza shore, which led to the death of one fisherman and wounding two others,” the fishermen’s union said, reports Reuters.
But the military spokeswoman said a Palestinian vessel with three suspects aboard was shot at after it had deviated from the designated fishing zone in the northern Gaza Strip.
“Naval forces called on the suspects to stop and when they did not comply, warning shots were fired into the air. Upon their continued advancement, shots were fired toward the vessel. Subsequently, one of the suspects was severely injured and he later succumbed to his wounds. The other two suspects were handed to security forces for interrogation,” she said.
The Israelis have detained dozens of Gaza fishermen for violating the maritime limit around Israel in the past few years and maintains a seasonally adjusted 6-9 nautical mile limit around their shores.
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