Israel Navy Fatally Shoots Palestinian Fisherman Off Gaza Coast

Israeli army says the fishing boat was outside Gaza fishing zone, didn't respond to calls from the naval vessel

In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, Palestinian fishermen unload boxes of fish from their boat in the seaport in Gaza City.
In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, Palestinian fishermen unload boxes of fish from their boat in the seaport in Gaza City. Khalil Hamra / AP

A Palestinian fisherman was shot to death by Israel Navy forces on Monday morning after he sailed past the Palestinian fishing zone off the northern Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Muhammad Bakr.

According to an IDF spokesman, the fishing boat did not respond to calls from the Israeli naval vessel before it opened fire.

The man was evacuated to a hospital in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, where he died of his wounds after undergoing surgery. Reports in Gaza identified the fisherman as 28-year-old Muhammad Bakr.

Last month, Israeli authorities announced that during the fishing season the Palestinian fishing zone would be expanded from six nautical miles (11 kilometers) to nine (16 kilometers) off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip. The expansion will remain in effect until June and is aimed at helping Gazan fisherman haul in bigger catches in deeper waters, where fish are more abundant.