The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed on Monday that one of its naval vessels fired on a boat returning from the Sinai Peninsula towards the Gaza Strip.
An official from the IDF media office said a boat was identified at 10pm on Sunday heading towards Egypt, adding that it returned after a few hours at approximately 1am.
A representative from the office of the spokesman for the Egyptian armed forces said they had no information on the incident.
The official said that the boat had not entered Israeli territorial waters until its return to the Gaza Strip. At this point the Israeli naval vessel ordered the boat to stop to search it on suspicion of illegal smuggling. The boat did not comply with the order, the Israeli vessel fired, and a “hit was confirmed”.
The IDF official was not able to confirm any injuries. Palestinian state media reported that a number of fishermen were injured and treated at a Gaza hospital.
Under the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, which was brokered by Egypt in the summer, the Gazan fishing zone was extended to six nautical miles. The IDF official said the boat was inside Israeli territorial waters when it was ordered to stop and then fired upon.