Israelâs navy today opened fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen as they were sailing off the coast of Gaza City, forcing them to return to shore, reportedÂ WafaÂ news agency.
According to aÂ WafaÂ correspondent, the Israeli navy firedÂ live bullets and bombsÂ towards fishermen who were sailing approximately three nautical miles away fromÂ northern Gaza, in the Al-SudaniyaÂ shore, forcing them to abandon their fishing trip and return home.
No casualties were reported.
Israeli naval forces and their gunboats have long beenÂ harassing Gaza fishermen, shooting at them, damaging their boats and making arrests. Sometimes fishermen are injured or killed during gunfire attacks.
The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) recorded 17 Israeli violations against fishermen in Gaza since the start of this year.
The fishing industry, a main source of income for thousands of Gazans, declined 50 per cent due to Israelâs continuous bullying of fishermen,Â Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Sami Al-Amasi, the head of the Palestinian Workersâ Union in Gaza saying earlier this month.
He added that the outbreak of the coronavirus added to the losses.
In addition to attacking fishermen, Israel regularly bans boats from accessing the water and reducing the fishing zone which Palestinians from Gaza can access.
Israeli naval authorities have been enforcing a sea blockade on Gazaâs 40-kilometre-length coast, since 2007.
TheÂ blockadeÂ has restricted fishing for the 3,700 registered fishermen in Gaza – the majority of whom live below the poverty line according to the Israeli human rights group BâTselem – by shrinking the fishing zone from 25 nautical miles, down to onlyÂ six to nine nauticalÂ miles.
Earlier this month,Â an Israeli occupation soldier wasÂ sentencedÂ to 45 days of community service for killing a Palestinian fisherman off the Gaza coast in 2018.