Israeli Navy Opens Fire on Fishermen Offshore Gaza

GAZA, January 11, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli naval boats Monday morning opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.

WAFA correspondent reported on witnesses as saying that Israeli naval gunboats intensively opened fire on a group of fishermen as a means to terrorize and force them to return to shore.

“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,” stated the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

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,” added the center.

Regarding Israeli attacks against fishermen over the reporting period between 1 to 31 of October 2015, PCHR documented six shooting incidents and one shelling.

It also documented incidents in which Israeli gunboats chased Palestinian fishing boats while sailing in Gaza waters, due to which, they arrested two fishermen and confiscated their fishing boats in those incidents.

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 six nautical miles in the Gaza Sea.

According to 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.