January 4, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israeli navy arrested three Palestinian fishermen off Gaza's shore on Tuesday, Palestinians sources said.

An Israeli navy ship intercepted and sank a small fishing boat, forcing the three people onboard to climb to the gunboat, a source from the Hamas' interior ministry told Xinhua.

Nizar Ayesh, head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union, said the Palestinians were working within the area that Israel allows fishermen to work in.

Israel does not allow Gaza fishing boats to go further than two nautical miles, though the Oslo peace accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization grants the fishermen a space of nearly 20 miles.

Israel imposed a maritime and land blockade on Gaza when the Hamas took over the territory in 2007. In the second half of last year, Israel relaxed the ground blockade, letting more civilian goods, to calm international protests following its May attack on a Turkish-led aid flotilla bound for Gaza.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the Israeli army arrested 12 Palestinians overnight in raids in different parts of the area, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) said.

Israel raids the West Bank on daily basis, who says it cracks down activists wanted by the Israeli security and intelligence services.

The PNA, which controls the West Bank, has often called on Israel to cease the raids.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017