Israeli navy detains Palestine fishermen off Gaza coast

Fishermen are detained while plying their trade off northern coast of blockaded territory

Israeli navy detains Palestine fishermen off Gaza coast

Israeli naval authorities on Friday arrested three Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip, according to a Palestinian source.

The fishermen were detained while plying their trade off the strip’s northern coast, Nizar Ayyash, head of Gaza’s fishermen’s union, told Anadolu Agency.

The fishermen’s boat, he added, had also been seized by the Israeli Navy.

As of 8:00 GMT, no comment had been issued regarding the incident by the Israeli authorities.

Some 50,000 Gazans earn their living through fishing, according to the fishermen’s union. 

Following Israel's 2014 military onslaught on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip (which left more than 2,150 Palestinians dead), Israel began allowing Gazan fishermen to ply their trade up to six nautical miles off the coast (as opposed to three previously). 

In May of this year, the Israeli authorities increased this to nine nautical miles. 

One month later, however, Israel reduced the limit again to only three nautical miles in response to the launching of incendiary kites and balloons into Israel by Palestinian activists in Gaza. 

The kite/balloon attacks came as part of ongoing Palestinian rallies along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to protest Israel’s 12-year blockade, which has brought Gaza -- and its two million inhabitants -- to the verge of humanitarian catastrophe. 

Since the Gaza rallies began on March 30, more than 210 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the buffer zone.