Egyptian naval forces fired on a Palestinian fishing boat allegedly killing a fisherman, Gaza’s interior ministry said with an Egyptian military source denying it.
Egypt’s navy has in the past shot at Gazans who it accuses of crossing the maritime border. There was no initial information on whether the fishing boat was in Egyptian waters
Wednesday’s incident took place after dark near the southern border town of Rafah, said Gaza’s interior ministry, run by officials loyal to Hamas.
“Egyptian naval vessels fired toward a Palestinian fishing boat near the southern sea border of Gaza Strip which led to the death of Mustafa Abu Odah, 30,” the ministry statement said.
In Cairo, an Egyptian military source denied the report, without elaborating.
Israel maintains a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and sets a varying fishing limit, currently a maximum of nine nautical miles.
Egypt has been trying to craft a long-term ceasefire between Hamas, which rules Gaza, and Israel and is also trying to calm months of protests on the Gaza-Israel border where over 200 Palestinians have died in Israeli fire.
During unrest at the border fence in July, an Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper in a cross-border shooting.
Cairo has been trying to negotiate a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the rival Western-backed Palestinian Authority, which holds sway in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.