Egyptian Navy Kills Two Gaza Fishermen, Palestinians Say

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A fisherman stands at Gaza Seaport, in Gaza City, September 3, 2020.
A fisherman stands at Gaza Seaport, in Gaza City, September 3, 2020.Credit: SUHAIB SALEM/ REUTERS

The bodies of two Palestinian fishermen who Palestinian officials say were shot dead by Egyptian naval forces were returned to Gaza on Saturday, the territory's ruling Islamist group Hamas said.

The fishermen, who were brothers, were shot on Friday off the coast near the southern border town of Rafah. A third brother was wounded and was undergoing treatment in Egypt.

"There is no justification for the repeated violent treatment against those who seek to eke out a living for their children," said a Hamas statement.

Earlier, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had officially acknowledged the event. An official statement had identified the brothers as coming from the central city of Deir al-Balah in Gaza. 

Egyptian officials could not immediately be reached for comment and it was unclear whether the fishing boat had crossed into Egyptian waters.

Citing security concerns, Israel maintains a naval blockade off the Gaza Strip and sets a varying fishing limit. Egypt also restricts movement of people and goods along its border with the coastal enclave.