GAZA (Reuters) – The Egyptian navy opened fire on a Palestinian fisherman at sea and killed him, the Gaza Ministry said on Saturday.
Egyptian officials had no immediate comment on the incident which happened late on Friday after dark near the southern border-town Rafah, according to Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra.
It could not be confirmed whether the fisherman was attempting to cross into Egyptian waters. Egyptian naval forces have previously opened fire on Gazans they accused of crossing the maritime border.
Fishermen from Gaza have often brought in catch from Egyptian territory to sidestep restrictions imposed by Israel’s naval blockade of the enclave, which Israel maintains citing security concerns.
Gaza fishermen say that the limited fishing zone imposed by Israel is not big enough to meet demand of the coastal strip’s 2 million people.
Gaza is run by Islamist group Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel and is designated a terrorist group by Western countries and Israel.
Israel withdrew troops and settlers from the territory in 2005 but remains the conduit for the passage of goods and supplies most of its electricity. Israel and Egypt, citing security concerns, maintain tight restrictions on the passage of Palestinians through their borders with the enclave.
Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Eric Knecht in Cairo; editing by Clelia Oziel