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Israeli Attacks on Fishermen in the Gaza Sea

Israeli Attacks on Fishermen in the Gaza Sea

Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period[1] (1 – 31 October 2014), including 18 shooting incidents that resulted in the injury of a fishermen while fishing; destroying 2 fishing boats; chasing incidents that led to the arrest of 7 fishermen; and confiscation of 2 fishing boats 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 22 October 2014, Israeli forces stationed on watchtowers along the coastal borderline, northwest of al-Sudaniya area, in the Northern Gaza Strip, chased fishing boats sailing 3 nautical miles off the Access Restricted Area (ARA) and opened fire at the one bordered by Mahmoud Adel Abu Ryala (16) and Ibrahim Matar (20). As a result, Mahmoud Adel Aby Ryala (16) sustained a bullet wound to his hand. The Israeli marine soldiers forced the fishermen to stop work, arrested them, then took them to Ashdod seaport and confiscated their boat. The aforementioned fishermen were interrogated by Israeli forces then released at approximately 01:30.

- Second: Arrest of Fishermen:

PCHR documented incidents in which Israeli naval forces arrested and chased 7 fishermen while they were sailing within about 3 nautical miles off northern Gaza and Gaza City shore.

- At approximately 08:00 on 22 October 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles off al-Sudaniya shore in the northern Gaza Strip. They opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat bordered by 2 fishermen. As a result, one of them was wounded (as mentioned above) and they were both arrested. They took them to Ashdod seaport and confiscated their boat. They were identified as: Mahmoud Adel Abu Ryala (16) and Ibrahim Matar (20). The aforementioned fishermen were interrogated by Israeli forces then released at approximately 01:30.

- On 22 October 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles off al-Sudaniya shore in the northern Gaza Strip. They surrounded a boat bordered by 5 fishermen and arrested them then took them to Ashdod seaport. They were identified as: Majed Fadel Hassan Baker (55) and his 3 sons Omran (27), Muahmmed (22), and Fadi (26); and Khalil Jawhar Baker (22). They were all released the following day.

Third: Confiscation of FishingBoats

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

- On 22 October 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat bordered by 2 fishermen sailing off al-Sudaniya shore, in the northern Gaza Strip. As a result, one of them was wounded and both were arrested and their boat confiscated. The fishermen were released while their boat remains confiscated.

- On 22 October 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat bordered by 5 fishermen sailing off al-Sudaniya shore, in the northern Gaza Strip. As a result, one of them was wounded and both were arrested and their boat confiscated. The fishermen were released while their boat remains confiscated.


Forth: Damaging Fishing Equipment

- On 16 October 2014, Israeli gunboats surrounded a Palestinian fishing boat bordered by 5 fishermen and belonging to Jamal Yousif Ahmed Abu Watfa (54) sailing off Deir al-Balah shore, in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, the boat was damaged and water poured into it. The fishermen sailed towards the land; however, it drowned 500 meters from the shore.

- At approximately 23:00 on 23 October 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat sailing 1 nautical miles off Rafah shore, in the southern Gaza Strip. As a result, the boat which belongs to baker family was completely burnt.


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

MonthFiringShelling incidentsKilled PersonsInjuriesArrest IncidentsNumber of DetaineesConfiscation of Fishing Boats and Fishing EquipmentDamaging Fishing Equipment
October 2014181017022

ENDS


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