1 dead after Gaza boat enters restricted area

IDF forces open fire on boat which strayed from designated fishing area, entered restricted waters. One suspect killed, two arrested.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 17:21

Fishing boat off Gaza coast (illustration)
Fishing boat off Gaza coast (illustration)
Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

One person was killed and two more arrested Sunday afternoon after a boat off the coast of the Gaza Strip strayed from the permitted fishing area and entered restricted military waters, an IDF spokesperson said.

After the Hamas terror organization took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, Israel and Egypt imposed a security closure on the Strip, limiting passage through border crossings to and from Gaza. Israel also barred the passage of naval vessels to and from the Strip, out of concern that Hamas could import heavy weapons from its allies abroad, principally Iran.

Israel has permitted local fisherman to use boats in a designated area of water close to the Gaza coast.

On Sunday, however, IDF forces spotted a vessel straying from the permitted fishing area and into restricted waters.

The boat, an IDF spokesperson said “deviated from the designated fishing zone in the northern Gaza Strip.”

IDF forces approached the vessel and ordered it to return to permitted waters and fired in the air, but were ignored.

After repeated warnings, the IDF forces opened fire on the suspicious boat, hitting one of the three suspects on board.

The suspect was seriously wounded in the incident, and later died. IDF forces arrested the two other suspects, and transferred them for questioning.