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Israeli navy shoots Gaza fisherman

GAZA CITY: Israeli naval forces shot and wounded a Palestinian fisherman in waters off the northern Gaza Strip yesterday, sources on both sides said.
Nizar Aayesh, head of the Gaza fishermen’s union, said the man was wounded when navy gunfire hit his boat after which he was taken to hospital in the southern Israeli port city of Ashkelon.
“There was shooting toward a Palestinian fishing boat in the sea off northern Gaza. One fisherman was injured and the occupation’s navy took him to Barzilai hospital,” he told AFP.
Under the terms of Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza, Palestinian boats are permitted to fish within waters up to six nautical miles from the coast.
The fishing zone was extended from three nautical miles after a Nov. 21 truce ended an eight-day confrontation between Israel and Gaza fighters.
“It was within the six nautical mile limit, but the Israeli vessels took the boat and whoever was on it and we are waiting for the fisherman to come back to know more details,” Aayesh said.
Meanwhile, troops in the northern West Bank arrested four Palestinians in Beit Rima near Ramallah early yesterday on suspicion of shooting offenses, witnesses said.
“Soldiers came to a house and arrested three brothers and another Palestinian, who was wounded,” the witnesses said, saying they were accused of shooting at soldiers. The incident sparked several hours of clashes, they added.
The army said that one of the suspects being rounded up “on security grounds” was shot as he tried to flee. “Security forces fired toward his legs, he was lightly injured,” she said. “A medical team provided him with initial medical care, then they evacuated him to a hospital.”
In another incident just south of Nablus, Jewish residents of the hard-line Yitzhar settlement clashed with shepherds from the nearby village of Madama, one of whom was hit in the leg by a bullet, a local official said.
“Settlers from Yitzhar attacked shepherds who were tending their flocks south of the village and started shooting with live ammunition,” Madama local council head Ehab Al-Qat said.
He said a 27-year-old shepherd was shot in the leg and his brother “was beaten by settlers.” Palestinian medics confirmed they had treated one person for a gunshot wound.

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