Israeli naval forces have opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, wounding two fishermen, Palestinian officials say.
Security authorities, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the fishermen sustained injuries when Israeli forces targeted Palestinian boats near the shores of the city of Beit Lahia on Monday morning, Arabic-language al-Aqsa satellite television network reported.
Around 4,000 fishermen work in Gaza, over half of whom live below the poverty line.
Israel had imposed a limit of three nautical miles on fishing in the waters off the Gaza shore until last August.
Under a ceasefire agreement reached between Israelis and Palestinians following a deadly 50-day Israeli war in August 2014, Tel Aviv agreed to immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles off the shore.
The agreement also stipulated that Israel would expand the area gradually up to 12 miles.
Palestinian fishermen, however, say that the Israeli navy opens fire on them before they reach the agreed limit.
Over the past two years, Israeli forces have carried out about 150 attacks on Palestinian boats, arresting nearly two dozen fishermen and confiscating nine boats.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Israeli jeep runs over Palestinian toddler
In a separate development, an Israeli military jeep has run over a Palestinian toddler in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health in a statement identified the two-year-old victim as Adel Khader Shahin, adding that he was run over in the town of Bir Nabala, which lies eight kilometers (4.9 miles) northeast of al-Quds (Jerusalem), on Sunday.
The Palestinian toddler sustained head injuries, and was transported to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.
There have been scores of “hit and run” incidents targeting Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, with most of them overlooked by Israeli authorities.
On April 28, an Israeli settler ran over a five-year-old Palestinian boy, identified as Zakariya Mahmoud al-Umour, with his car in the Khallet al-Mayya area of the town of Yatta, located approximately 8 kilometers (4.9 miles) south al-Khalil (Hebron).
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East al-Quds, in 1967.
Much of the international community considers the settlements illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.