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Israeli Attacks on Fishermen in the Gaza Sea

 

Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period (01-30 September 2015), including 7 shooting incidents that resulted in wounding a child accompanying his father on Beit Lahia shore. Moreover, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 3 shelling
incidents by Israeli gunboats and
a crash incident due to which fishing boat was drowned.

 The 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 6 nautical miles in the Gaza Sea.  According to PCHR’s investigations, all attacks took place within the distance of 6 nautical miles, which proves that Israeli forces’ policies aim to tighten restrictions on the Gaza Strip’s fishermen and their livelihoods.

 

Violations of the International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

 

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.  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.  Israeli violations in the
reporting period were as follows:

  

First: Shooting Incidents

 During the reporting period, PCHR documented 7 shooting incidents and 3 shelling ones.  The shooting incidents took place within the allowed fishing area as follows: the northern Gaza Strip and Khan Yunis. One of the shooting incidents led to injuring a child while he was accompanying his father on Beit Lahia shore.

 Second: A child wounded adjacent to northern Gaza Strip shore.

 – At approximately 18:00, 03 September 2015, Israeli forces stationed inside the watchtowers adjacent to al-Seyafa area, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of fishermen who were angling in the vicinity of the border fence. As a result, Belal Omer Yousef Abu Amr, 10, from al-Manshiya area in Beit Lahia village, sustained a bullet wound to the right thigh while he was accompanying his father, who was angling 50 meters away from the border fence.  Abu Amr was taken to Kmal ‘Edwan Hospital to receive medical treatment, where a medical source stated that his wound was moderate.    

 Third: Damaging Fishing Equipment

  At approximately 19:30 on 26 September 2015, an Israeli gunboat collided with a fishing boat that was sailing within 3 nautical miles off Khan Yunis shore.

Foaad al-‘Amoudy, head of the Fishermen Syndicate, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that an Israeli gunboat approached a fishing boat owned by him along with three other persons. The aforementioned fishing boat was sailing within 3 nautical miles off Khan Yunis shore. The Israeli gunboat pointed torches at the fishing boat and then collided with, due to which the fishing boat was drowned. The fishing boat owners headed to the place later, where the boat sank, but they did not find it.

 Table of Israeli Attacks on Palestinian
Fishermen in the Gaza Strip in September 2015

 

Month

Shooting

Shelling

Injuries

Damaging Fishing Nets

September 2015

7

3

1

1

 

Table of Israeli Attacks on
Palestinian Fishermen in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2015

Month

Firing

Injuries

Arrest Incidents

Number of Detainees

Confiscation of Fishing Boats

Confiscation of Fishing nets

Damaging Fishing Equipment

January

12

4

2

8

1

2

4

February

15

March

12

2

2

6

3

1

April

15

1

2 (fishing boat – net)

May

27

7

1

2

1

1

3

June

10

4

14

3

2

3

July

7

3

8

4

August

6

2

1

1

September

7

1

1 fishing boat

Total

111

22

40

13

5

15