Israel Detains 6 Fishermen Off Gaza Coast, Confiscates 2 Boats, and Razes Lands

The Israeli forces on Tuesday morning carried out a limited incursion into the northern border areas of the Gaza Strip along with a number of military bulldozers.

Witnesses said that four army bulldozers crossed the border fence east of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and razed Palestinian lands near the “buffer zone.”
The witnesses added that Israeli military drones hovered over the area during the incursion, and that Israeli military vehicles “protected” the bulldozers from a military base on the other side of the border fence.
In violation of the Egyptian-brokered truce agreement with the resistance, the IOF repeatedly carries out incursions into Gaza border areas.

Separately, Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinian agricultural fields from watchtowers east of the village of Khuzaa, in the southern Gaza Strip district of Khan Yunis. No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports of both incidents.
Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone,” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.
Palestinians who work near the “buffer zone” often come under fire from Israeli military forces, as the authorities have not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.
The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural sector of the blockaded coastal enclave.

On the other hand, Israeli naval forces detained six Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, according to locals.
Nizar Ayyash, head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza said that Israeli naval forces stopped two fishing boats off the coast near the northern town of Beit Lahiya, confiscated the boats, and detained the crews that were onboard.
Ayyash identified the detained fishermen, all residents of Gaza City, as Mohammad Abu Ryala, Shaher Abu Ryala, Ali Abu Ryala, Bilal Abu Ryala, Khaled Abu Ryala and Hassan Abu Samaan.
It remained unclear for exactly what reason the boats were confiscated, and why th fishermen were detained.
Most recently, Israeli authorities postponed on Monday a decision to expand the fishing zone off the northern Gaza coast from the current six nautical mile limit, to nine nautical miles for the duration of the month of November.
As part of Israel’s blockade off the coastal enclave since 2007, Palestinian fishermen have been required to work within a limited “designated fishing zone.”
The exact limits of the zone are decided by the Israeli authorities and have historically fluctuated, most recently extended to six nautical miles from three, following a ceasefire agreement that ended Israel’s 2014 offensive on the Palestinian territory.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has reported that Israeli naval forces often open fire on fishermen within these limits, putting their lives in danger on a near-daily basis.
Israeli forces also regularly detain Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza working within the fishing zone, generally for alleged security reasons.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Israeli forces detained 71 fishermen and confiscated 22 fishing boats throughout 2015.
The center said that Israeli naval forces also opened fire on Palestinian fishermen at least 139 times over the course of the year, wounding 24 and damaging 16 fishing boats.
“These attacks occurred in a time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living,” PCHR said.