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Israeli Attacks on Fishermen in the Gaza Sea

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

October 20, 2014


Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period[1] (1 – 30 September 2014), including 18 shooting incidents that resulted in the injury of a fishermen while fishing; 4 chasing incidents that led to the arrest of 11 fishermen; and confiscation of 4 fishing boats and 22 pieces of fishing nets belonging to Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

 

The Israeli naval forces did not comply with the ceasefire agreement concluded between Israel and Palestinian armed groups under Egyptian auspices on 26 August 2014.  This agreement includes allowing Palestinian fishermen to sail within 6 nautical miles in the Gaza Sea.  According to PCHR's investigations, all attacks took place within the distance of 6 nautical miles, which proves that Israeli forces' policies aim to tighten restrictions on the Gaza Strip's fishermen and their livelihoods.

 

Violations of the International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

 

Israel’s attacks against Palestinian fishermen, who do not pose any threat to Israeli soldiers, in the Gaza Strip constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, relevant to the protection of the civilian population and respect for its rights, including every person's right to work, and the right to life, liberty and security of person, as codified in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), despite the fact that Israel is a State Party to the Covenant.  Furthermore, these attacks occurred in a time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living.  Israeli violations in the reporting period were as follows:

  

First: Shooting Incidents

 

During the reporting period, PCHR documented 18 cases in which Israeli forces fired at Palestinian fishermen in the sea off the Gaza Strip shore.  As a result, a fisherman was injured.

- On 17 September 2014, Israeli forces stationed on watchtowers along the coastal borderline, northwest of al-Sayafa area, north of Beit Lahia, opened fire at a group of fishermen who were near the Access Restricted Area (ARA).  As a result, Jom'aah Ahmed Mohammed Zayed (69), from Beit Lahia, was wounded by a bullet to the right leg cutting one of the veins.  It should be mentioned that Zayed was standing 200 meters away from the coastal border fence and directing his sons, who were fishing inside the waters.  He was taken to Kamal 'Ewan Hospital in Beit Lahia to receive medical treatment and was then transferred to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City where medical sources described his injury as moderate.

 

Second: Arrest of Fishermen:

 

PCHR documented incidents in which Israeli naval forces arrested and chased 11 fishermen while they were sailing within about 1.5 nautical mile off northern Gaza and Gaza City shore.

 

- At approximately 06:30 on 03 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within one nautical mile off Beit Lahia shore in the northern Gaza Strip. An Israeli gunboat surrounded a Palestinian fishing boat boarded by Mohammed Ishaq Mohammed Zayed (18) and Mousa Talal 'Ata al-Sultan  (24), both from al-Salateen  neighborhood in Beit Lahia, while sailing around 800 meters inside the waters.  The Israeli naval soldiers forced the two fishermen to stop fishing, jump into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat.  The Israeli soldiers then arrested them and confiscated their boat and pieces of fishing net.

- At approximately 05:00 on 09 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats.  An Israeli gunboat surrounded a Palestinian fishing boat boarded by Tariq and 'Issam 'Abdel Bari Mohammed al-Sultan (18) and (21) respectively, both from al-Salateen  neighborhood in Beit Lahia, while sailing 1.5 nautical mile off the Beit Lahia shore.  The Israeli naval soldiers surrounded the boat and arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat and pieces of fishing net.

-  At approximately 06:30 on 09 September 2014, Israeli gunboats heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing off Beit Lahia shore in the northern Gaza Strip.  An Israeli gunboat surrounded a boat boarded by Bahaa' Yousif Mohammed al-Sultan (25) and Ahmed As'ad Mohammed al-Sultan (22), both from -Salateen  neighborhood in Beit Lahia, while sailing 1.5 nautical mile off the Beit Lahia shore.  The Israeli naval soldiers arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat and pieces of fishing net.

- At approximately 15:00 on 22 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats sailing off al-Zahra shore, southwest of Gaza City.  The gunboats then surrounded a fishing boat boarded by 5 fishermen from al-Shati refugee camp.  The Israeli naval troops forced the five fishermen to stop fishing, jump into the water and swim to the Israeli gunboat.  The Israeli naval soldiers then tied the fishermen's hands and arrested them taking them to Ashdod Seaport.  At approximately 08:00 on the next day, the Israeli forces released the fishermen, but kept their boat and fishing equipment in custody. The fishermen were identified as: Sofian Mohyi al-Deen Kollab (47); Mohammed Yousif Abu 'Odah (24); Mustafa Haidar Abu 'Odah (25); Ahmed Ziyad al-Sharif (32). and 'Abdel Rahim Abu Selmiyah (30).

 

Third: Confiscation of Fishing Boats

 

During the reporting period, PCHR documented chasing incidents and confiscation of 4 fishing boats and other fishing equipment (pieces of fishing nets).

 

- On  03 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat boarded by two fishermen sailing off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.  The Israeli gunboats then surrounded the boat and arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat and fishing net.

- On 09 September 2014, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing off Beit Lahia shore.  The Israeli gunboat surrounded a Palestinian fishing boat boarded by two fishermen.  They arrested the fishermen and confiscated their boat and pieces of their fishing net.

- On 09 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and then surrounded a fishing boat.  The Israeli naval soldiers arrested two fishermen from al-Salateen neighborhood in Beit Lahia and confiscated their boat and pieces of fishing net.

 

   Table of Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza City in September 2014

 

Month

Firing

Shelling incidents

Killed Persons

Injuries

Arrest Incidents

Number of Detainees

Confiscation of Fishing Boats and Fishing Equipment

Damaging Fishing Equipment

September 2014

18

1

0

4

11

4

4

0

 

 

 



[1] This fact sheet issued by PCHR is the twenty seventh of its kind.  It addresses violations carried out by the Israeli forces against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip while practicing their work.  For more details, see Fact Sheets at: www.pchrgaza.org.

  Source


:: Article nr. 110307 sent on 16-dec-2014 03:38 ECT

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