Israeli Navy Attacks Fishermen with Gunfire off Gaza

GAZA, April 27, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli naval boats on Wednesday resumed their attacks – in a blatant violation of a 2014 truce agreement – on Palestinian fishermen sailing within six miles from the shore of Gaza.

WAFA correspondent said that Israeli navy opened heavy machine gunfire on fishermen’s boats, despite sailing within the six-nautical-mile zone allowed for Palestinian fishing industry.

At least one fishing boats was reportedly hit and destroyed by the firing, yet no injuries were reported among the fishermen who apparently fled the scene for fear of being detained, inured, or killed.

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

Israeli navy targets Gaza fishermen almost on a daily basis, in a blatant breach of a ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and armed Palestinian groups in august 2014, following 51 days of bloody aggression on the Gaza Strip, which claimed the lives of over 2.200 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), all Israeli attacks on Palestinian fishermen have taken 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.”

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

According to OCHA weekly report covering the period between 16 and 22 of February 2016 , “At least 21 incidents involving Israeli forces opening warning fire at Palestinian civilians in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and sea in the Gaza Strip were recorded, none of which resulted in casualties.”

 

wafa