Monday, September 11, 2006

Israeli gunboat fires across bows of fishermen near Tyre

Israeli gunboat fires across bows of fishermen near Tyre

SOUTH LEBANON: An Israeli patrol boat fired in the direction of three Lebanese fishing boats overnight, police in the Southern port of Tyre said Sunday, only two days after Israel lifted its naval blockade off the country. The incident came as the Lebanese Army reported that an Israeli reconnaissance plane violated Lebanese airspace on Saturday night. No casualties were reported in the incidents offshore the town of Naqoura, which is located only some 4 kilometers from the Israeli border. All shots were reportedly directed over the tops of the boats. Khalil Taha, president of the fishermen's union in Tyre, told AFP that none of the Lebanese boats had entered Israeli territorial waters, explaining that the maritime border is marked by a line of buoys extending roughly 10 nautical miles (18 kilometers) from the coast. The army said an "enemy reconnaissance plane" flew over Abbassiyeh and Ansariyeh, two villages east of Tyre, between 8:20 and 10:55 p.m. on Saturday. On Friday, Israel lifted its eight-week naval blockade of Lebanon, a day after ending the air embargo. Even before the 34-day war between Israel and Lebanon, Israeli patrol boats would enter Lebanese waters and fire threateningly at fishermen or even arrest them. Also on Sunday, an explosion was heard in Naqoura. While the National News Agency said an unidentified object exploded on the beach, sources said the explosion was fishermen using dynamite. - With agencies, additional reporting by Mohammed Zaatari

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