Israeli Navy Opens Gunfire on Palestinian Fishermen Offshore Gaza

GAZA, December 8, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli navy boats Tuesday opened a barrage of gunfire at Palestinian fishermen boats sailing offshore Gaza city, but there were no reports of injuries, according to WAFA correspondent.

Israeli navy fired a hail of live bullets at Palestinian fishermen’s boats, within the unilaterally-imposed six-nautical-miles fishing zone offshore the northwest of Gaza city.

No injuries were reported among the fishermen who apparently fled the scene for fear of being injured, killed or arrested.

Meanwhile, Navy soldiers late Monday night detained two fishermen identified as Zaid Troosh and mohammed Baker, both in their twenties, while sailing within the allowed fishing zone, and led them to the Israeli port of Ashdod. Soldiers further seized their boats.

Israeli navy and troops routinely open fire on Palestinian fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-miles zone and farmlands along the border, flagrantly violating the ceasefire deal that was reached in August 2014.

The current six-nautical-mile fishing zone falls drastically short of the twenty nautical miles allocated to Palestinian fishermen in the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Noting lack of Israeli naval forces’ compliance with the ceasefire agreement concluded between Israel and Palestinian armed groups under Egyptian auspices on 26 August 2014, including  allowing Palestinian fishermen to sail within six nautical miles in the Gaza Sea, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that all attacks took place within the distance of six nautical miles, which it said, “proves that Israeli forces’ policies aim to tighten restrictions on the Gaza Strip’s fishermen and their livelihoods.”

The international organization OXFAM reported on the fishing industry saying, “With most of the fish at least nine miles out at sea, [fishermen] have already been struggling to make a living and now 90 percent of them need international aid.”

Israel has imposed a tightened blockade since 2007 after Hamas won the democratic legislative election and took over power in the strip.