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Israeli Attacks on Fishermen in the Gaza Sea

09 June 2015

 

Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period[1] (01-31 May 2015), including 27 shooting incidents and 2 shelling incidents that resulted in wounding 7 Palestinian fishermen while sailing off Beit Lahia shore in addition to the damage of a fishing nets and equipment. PCHR also documented the arrest of fishermen and confiscation of a fishing boat in those incidents.

 

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 21 shooting incidents and 2 shelling incidents.  The shooting incidents took place within the
allowed fishing area as follows: 21 shooting incidents off Beit Lahia shore,
north of the Gaza Strip; a shooting incident off Gaza shore; a shooting
incident off Central Gaza shore; 2 shooting incidents off Khan Yunis shore and 2
shooting incidents off Rafah shore. As a result, 7 fishermen were wounded and
fishing nets were damaged.

 

Second: Israeli Naval Forces Wounded Seven Fishermen,
including Boy, While Sailing in Gaza Waters

 

 At approximately 17:30 on
Friday, 08 May 2015, two Israeli gunboats opened fire at a fishing boat
belonging to Fahed Ziyad Baaker while sailing within 3 nautical miles off
al-Soudaniyah shore, north of Gaza City.
The Israeli naval soldiers surrounded the boat boarded by 4 fishermen
and opened fire at it wounding Ziyad Fahed Baker (21) to the left leg.  He was then taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza
City, and medical sources described his wound as moderate
.

 At approximately 19:30 on
Friday, 08 May 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of
Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at the Palestinian fishing
boats.  As a result, Sharif Mohammed ‘Abed al-Sultan (42) from al-‘Atatrah
neighborhood in Beit Lahia was hit with a rubber-coated bullet to the left leg
while he was sailing within one nautical mile from the beach together with his
son, Uranus (19).  The wounded fisherman was taken to Kamal ‘Edwan Hospital
to receive medical treatment, and the medical sources described his wound as
minor.  The shooting damaged and cut off dozens of pieces of fishing nets
belonging to other fishermen.

 At approximately 18:40 on
Saturday, 09 May 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest
of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing
boats sailing within less than one nautical mile from the beach.  An
Israeli gunboat approached a fishing boat belonging to ‘Issa Nafez Abu Riyalah
and Ra’ed Sa’id al-‘Ashi, both from al-Shati’ refugee camp in Gaza City.
The fishing boat was boarded by Mohammed No’man Rabi’a al-Sultan (23) and Hatem
al-‘Abed ‘Ashour al-Sultan (29), both are from al-Salatin neighborhood in Beit
Lahia.  The Israeli naval soldiers forced the fishermen to jump into the
water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat.  The Israeli soldiers then
arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat. As a result of this
attack, 17 pieces of fishing nets were lost.
At approximately 05:00 on Monday, 11 May 2015, Israeli forces released
the arrested fishermen via Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.  They were wounded as Amin al-sultan was hit
with a rubber-coated bullet to the left hand and another one to the right foot
while Hatem al-Sultan sustained bullet shrapnel wound to the palm of the right hand.  Medical sources described their wounds as
minor.

 At approximately 03:00 on
Wednesday, 27 May 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian gunboat
sailing within 3 nautical miles off the Gaza Seaport, west of Gaza City.
As a result, Islam al-Sayed Khamis Murad (25) from al-Shati’ refugee camp was
hit by two bullets to the top of the right thigh and the left arm.  He was
then taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and his condition was described as
moderate.

 At approximately 09:00 on Monday,
25 May 2015, two fishers were wounded by Israeli naval forces when they were
fishing on a boat boarded by 4 Palestinian fishers and sailing within 3
nautical miles off al-Soudaniya shore in the northern Gaza Strip.  The two
wounded fishers were identified as Mohammed Ziad Hasan Baker (30) who was hit
by a metal bullet to the left arm and ‘Emad al-Deen Muhsen ‘Eid Baker (16) who
was hit by a metal bullet to the right thigh.
They were taken to Shifa Hospital where they received medical
treatment.  Medical sources there
described their condition as minor.

Third: Arrest of Fishermen:

 On 09
May 2015 and during the aforementioned incident, israeli naval forces arrested
Mohammed No’aman al-Sultan (23) and Hatem al-‘Abed ‘Ashour al-Sultan (29), both
from al-Salatin neighborhood in Beit Lahia.
At approxicmtaely 05:00 on Monday, 11 May 2015, Israeli forces released
the arrested fishermen via Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing.

Forth:
Confiscation of Fishing Tools

 On 09 May 2015
and during the aforementioned incident, Israeli forces arrested al-Sultans and
confiscated their boats and 17 pieces of fishing net.

Fifth: Damaging Fishing Equipment

 At approximately 17:00 on 06 May 2015, Israeli gunboats chased
and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the central Gaza Strip shore.  As a result, a number of pieces of fishing
net belonging to Palestinian fisherman were damaged.

 At approximately 19:30 on 08 May 2015, Israeli gunboats
stationed off Beit Lahia shore, north of the Gaza Strip, chased and opened fire
at fishing boats sailing within 1 nautical mile. As a result, a fisherman was
wounded, and dozens of fishing net were cut off and damaged.

 At approximately 18:40 on 09 May 2015, israeli gunboats
stationed of al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia shore in the northern Gaza
Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boat sailing within various
distances.  As a result, two fishermen
were wounded and arrested in addition to confiscating their boat.  Moreover, 17 pieces of fishing net were lost.

 

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

 

Month

Shooting

Shelling

Injuries

Arrest Incidents

Number of Detainees

Confiscation of Fishing Boats

Damaging Fishing Nets

May 2015

27

2

7

1

2

1

3

 

 

 

 

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

Month

Firing

Killed Persons

Injuries

Arrest Incidents

Number of Detainees

Confiscation of Fishing Boats and Fishing Equipment

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

Total

81

14

5

16

5

3

10

 

 

 


[1]
This fact sheet issued by PCHR is the thirty-four of its kind.  It
addresses violations carried out by the Israeli forces against Palestinian
fishermen in the Gaza Strip while practicing their work.  For more
details, see Fact Sheets at: www.pchrgaza.org.