WEST BANK (Dispatches) – Palestinians on Sunday held a funeral procession for two Gaza fishermen who were shot dead by Egyptian naval forces.
Mourners carried the bodies of brothers Mahmoud and Hassan al-Zaazoua and laid them to rest in the Gaza Strip.
Egypt returned the bodies of the fishermen, who were brothers, on Saturday.
Egyptian forces shot them on Friday off the coast near the southern border town of Rafah. A third brother was wounded and was undergoing treatment in Egypt.
Hamas resistance movement condemned the violence and called on Egypt to investigate the incident.
"There is no justification for the repeated violent treatment against those who seek to eke out a living for their children,” Hamas said in a statement.
There was no immediate comment from Egyptian officials, but the Palestinian fishermen’s union in Gaza said its fishermen usually work near the Gaza-Egypt maritime border and the Egyptian navy is aware of their presence.
"Even if they happen to exceed the limit, shooting and killing them is unjustifiable,” said Nezar Ayyash, head of the union. "They could have stopped them because their boat’s engine is weak and can’t run faster than the naval boat.”
Ayyash said the Egyptian military has killed six Gaza fishermen in separate incidents in the past 14 years.
He said the fishermen will go on a general strike for three days to protest against the loss of their colleagues.
The Zionist regime and Egypt imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2007. The economy of the coastal strip has suffered from years of blockade.
The Zionist regime maintains a heavy naval presence off the coast of the impoverished Palestinian enclave, severely affecting the livelihood of some 4,000 fishermen and at least 1,500 more people involved in the fishing industry.
Over the past few years, Zionist troops have carried out more than a hundred attacks on Palestinian boats, arresting fishermen and confiscating boats.