IDF shoots Palestinian fisherman near Ashkelon
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IDF shoots Palestinian fisherman near Ashkelon

Sailor was warned to return to permitted fishing waters; navy vessel opened fire when he failed to respond

Illustrative photograph of Palestinian fishermen at the port in Gaza City. (photo credit: Wissam Nassar/Flash90).
Illustrative photograph of Palestinian fishermen at the port in Gaza City. (photo credit: Wissam Nassar/Flash90).

IDF naval forces fired on a Palestinian fishing boat that floated into Israeli waters early Monday morning, after the fisherman did not respond to the army’s calls to return to the permitted fishing area.

The boat was sailing near the Ashkelon gas pipeline, north of Gaza, when Israeli navy crewmen called on it to turn back. Eyewitnesses reported that the fisherman failed to do so, so the troops opened fire, hitting the man in the leg.

The IDF then approached the boat and towed it to shore, where medical personnel treated the moderately wounded man and evacuated him to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

As part of the agreements Israel reached with Hamas following November’s Operation Pillar of Defense, Gaza fishermen were permitted to sail out farther north from the Gaza coast than they used to, though Israel maintains its naval blockade to prevent weapons reaching Hamas by sea.

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