Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Fisherman

On Monday, Israeli Navy forces shot and killed a Palestinian fisherman who had "deviated from the designated fishing zone in the northern Gaza Strip."

An IDF spokesperson said that the man's fishing vessel did not respond to warning calls and warning shots, prompting an IDF vessel to open fire. Mohammed Majed Bakr, 28, was injured in the exchange and taken to a hospital in Ashkelon for treatment. He later died of his wounds.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported that Bakr's vessel was one of several chased by Israeli forces on Sunday. The IDF confirmed that it boarded one additional boat and arrested a total of six fishermen.

Israel has limited Gazan fishermen to an area extending to six nm off the coast, part of a naval blockade that it says is intended to prevent arms-smuggling. IDF forces and fishermen routinely interact at the boundary and Palestinians are occasionally shot at when they try to venture further out to sea. IDF patrol boats have also reported coming under fire from shoreside attackers in Gaza. Israeli outlet Arutz Sheva suggests that these altercations "rarely result in deaths."

IDF officials are expanding the fishing zone out to nine nm this season in order to allow Palestinians to access deeper, more productive waters. The size of the zone has fluctuated over the years, from as little as three nm to as much as 12 nm; the U.N. has called on Israel to lift the blockade and allow fishermen to operate out to 20 nm, as agreed in the 1993 Oslo Accords.

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