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Israel releases three Palestinian fishermen

May 12, 2019 1:13 P.M. (Updated: May 14, 2019 10:45 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel released four Palestinian fishermen, on Saturday evening, who were detained earlier off the central coast of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Zakariya Bakr, told Ma'an earlier that the three fishermen were released through the Erez (Beit Hanoun) border crossing.

Bakr identified the fishermen as three brothers, Amran, Mansour, and Atef Bakr.
Bakr added that the three were detained by Israeli naval forces earlier on Saturday for an unknown reason.
In addition, Bakr said that following their detention, the Israeli navy confiscated their fishing boat until further notice and sailed it towards the Israeli Ashdod seaport.
As part of Israel's blockade of the coastal enclave since 2007, the Israeli army, citing security concerns, requires Palestinian fishermen to work within a limited "designated fishing zone," the exact limits of which are decided by the Israeli authorities and have historically fluctuated.

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the unilaterally declared buffer zone.

Israeli human rights group B'Tselem recently concluded that Israel's Gaza closure and "harassment of fishermen" have been "destroying Gaza's fishing sector," with 95% of fishermen living below the poverty line.

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