Israeli Gunboats Target Fishermen in Gaza

GAZA, January 26, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli navy soldiers Monday targeted Palestinian fishermen’s boats with a hail of gunfire offshore al-Sudanyeh area, northwest of Gaza, according to WAFA correspondent.

An Israeli navy gunboat chased after Palestinian-owned fishing boats and opened fire at them, despite sailing within the six-nautical-mile zone allowed for fishing, causing financial damages to the boats, while no injuries were reported.

The fishermen were forced to leave the sea for fear of being killed, injured, or arrested.

Israeli Navy targets Palestinian fishing boats almost on daily basis in a clear breach of the Egyptian brokered truce agreement reached on August 26 of last year. This agreement includes allowing Palestinian fishermen to sail within 6 nautical miles in the Gaza Sea.

According to Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)’s investigations, all attacks took place within the distance of six nautical miles, which proves that Israeli forces’ policies aim to tighten restrictions on the Gaza Strip’s fishermen and their livelihoods.

“Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period (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,” said PCHR.

The latest Israeli 2014 summer aggression on the strip has aggravated the already devastated economy as a result of the eight-year-long blockade imposed on it.

The summer conflict destroyed vital infrastructure, including water, sanitary services, schools, medical facilities, and thousands of homes.

Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen ‘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),’ it said.