World

Palestinian official says Gaza fisherman shot dead off coast by Israeli naval forces

A Palestinian health official says a fisherman has been shot dead off the coast of Gaza by Israeli naval forces.

Ashraf al-Kidra says the fisherman was shot Saturday in an Israeli naval attack in which two other Gaza fishermen were arrested as well. He identified the victim as 32-year-old Tawfiq Abu Riala.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Israel maintains a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip to prevent the smuggling of weapons to the coastal strip's Islamic Hamas leaders and other militant groups that operate in the territory.

Following last summer's war in Gaza, Israel agreed to double a permitted fishing zone for Gazans up to six nautical miles. It recently also loosened restrictions to allow Gaza fishermen to export their catch to the West Bank.