Israeli Navy Targets Fishermen off Gaza, Injures One

GAZA, January 21, 2015 (WAFA) – At least one Palestinian fisherman was injured with live bullets when an Israeli naval boat opened fire at fishermen sailing off Gaza, according to local sources.

The fisherman, Atef Bakr, 19, was shot and moderately injured while he was sailing offshore the coast of Gaza for fishing.

Nizar Yaish, head of the Gaza Fishermen’s Syndicate, told the Anadolu Agency, the Israeli navy claimed the fishermen had surpassed the six-nautical-mile zone allowed for Palestinian fishing practice.

The Israeli navy targets Palestinian fishermen off Gaza almost on a daily basis, causing civilian casualties among fishermen or damaging their boats.

According to Amjad Shrafi, deputy head of the Gaza Fishermen’s Syndicate, hundreds of Palestinian fishermen have been arrested, injured and even killed off Gaza, whereas the Israeli navy has also confiscated 54 fishing boats.

Under the Egypt-brokered ceasefire negotiations last August, Israel agreed with Palestinian factions to extend the fishing zone allowed for Palestinians to six nautical miles. Nevertheless, fire attacks on Palestinian fishermen by the Israeli navy continued.

During the Israeli aggression last summer, Palestinian fishermen suffered severe financial losses after Israeli jet fighters struck sheds storing fishing equipment.

The current six-nautical-mile fishing zone falls drastically short of meeting the actual demand for fish products in Gaza and the West Bank.