A Palestinian fisherman was killed and another colleague was injured Thursday afternoon when Israeli navy fired shells and machinegun fire at their boat near the beach in northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya, witnesses said.
The witnesses said Mohammed al-Attar, 25, was killed when the shell hit his wooden fishing boat a few minutes after it set sail.
Medical sources said that the second fisherman suffered moderate wounds.
Israeli gunboats monitor the shores of the Gaza Strip to prevent the Palestinian fishermen from sailing farther than two nautical miles though mutual accords set the fishing area for the Palestinians in the Mediterranean to 20 nautical miles.
The incident comes hours after Palestinian militants fired mortar shells at Israeli army posts beyond the security fence that separates Gaza and Israel.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility for the mortar attack and said it marks the eighth anniversary of the death of its secretary general Abu Ali Mustafa at the hands of the Israeli army in the West Bank.
The Gaza Strip is controlled by Islamic Hamas movement which has been maintaining a level of calmness with Israel since the Jewish state completed a major military offensive in the territory in December and January.
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