Israeli Naval Forces’ Attacks Continued against Palestinian Fishermen, Three Fishermen Arrested, Fishing Boat Confiscated and Fishing Nets Drowned
The Israeli naval forces continued their attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea as at approximately 15:30 on Monday, 03 February 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed off Deir al-Balah shore opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (10 nautical miles). The gunboats surrounded a fishing boat, where 3 fishermen were on board and identified as Ramadan ‘Ali Salah (44), his nephew ‘Ali Wael Salah (14) and Majed Mahmoud Meqdad (48), all of them from the Shati’ Refugee camp in Gaza City. The Israeli Naval forces seized the boat and took it to Ashdod Seaport and arrested the 3 fishermen. During the chase, the gunboats drowned 22 fishing nets belonging to Mos’ab Isma’il Abu Dgheim.
At approximately 23:30 on the same day, IOF released the 3 fishermen via the Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, but kept the fishing boat under custody.
Ramadan ‘Ali Mahmoud Salah, one of the released fishermen, said to a PCHR fieldworker that the Israeli gunboats fired rubber bullets at them, and he was shot in his left foot and Majed Meqdad in the back. The Israeli soldiers ordered them to jump into the water; they were arrested, taken to Ashdod Seaport and interrogated until 23:30 when they were released. The boat is still in confiscation.
According to PCHR’s documentation in 2019, 243 shooting incidents were reported against Palestinian fishermen, resulting in the injury of 13 fishermen, damage of 6 fishing boats, arrest of 23 fishermen and confiscation of 11 fishing boats.
PCHR strongly condemns the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen and calls upon the international community to pressure Israel to stop its attacks against the Palestinian fishermen at Gaza Sea. PCHR also calls upon the IOF to stop chasing Palestinian fishermen, release those arrested, and compensate the fishermen for the damage resulting from the ongoing attacks against them and their property.