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Dying light on the horizon; Oxfam Gaza Updates 29 September- 20 October

Dying light on the
horizon

Fishing boats can be seen at night a
couple of miles out at sea in Gaza with very expensive high-powered lights
trying to attract fish that they cannot reach, but the horizon remains deadly
for them.

Israeli forces shot and killed
22-year-old fisherman Fahmi Abu Riash and wounded his brother Youssef, 19, on
28 September, when they  were merely a few metres offshore in northern
Gaza. The killing of Fahmi, who had been married for the last two years and had
a one-year-old baby, not only brought tragedy to his family but also deprived
them of their only means of livelihood.

“All my hope in life is lost,” his
mother Mariam told Oxfam partner Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). “I
do not know how to move on without my son. In the past, we were a bit hopeful
that everything would be okay but now we know that nothing is ever going to
change.”

 According to investigations by
PCHR, an Israeli infantry unit had crossed the north-western perimeter into the
Gaza Strip along the beach area, taking position behind a hill. Off shore,
fishermen had cast their nets close to the beach, when they came under fire
from the soldiers. While the majority of fishermen fled with their boats, Fahmi
and his brother were unable to get away in time.

 Meanwhile last week four other
fishermen were arrested and their boat confiscated while they were 2 nautical
miles out at sea. Officially Israel imposes a 3 nautical mile limit on Palestinian
fishermen since 2009, cutting 85% of their source of income because they are
denied access to their waters.

Two of the arrested were aged 20 and
17, PCHR said. They were ordered to stop by an Israeli  gunboat but kept
heading south to continue fishing until they came under fire from the Israeli
navy. The boat stopped when a bullet hit the engine. The fishermen were then
asked to strip and jump into the sea and board the gunboat.

“It should be noted that Israeli
forces have recently imposed more restrictions on the work of fishermen in the
Gaza Strip,” PCHR said. “Since 2000, fishermen have been denied their right to
sail and fish freely. Israeli forces reduced the area of fishing from 20
nautical miles, which was established  in the agreements signed between
Palestinians and Israel, to 6 nautical miles in 2008. However, Israeli forces
have continued to prevent fishermen from going beyond 3 nautical miles since
2009.  As a result, fishermen are prevented from reaching areas beyond
that distance where fish are abundant.”

PCHR said the violations committed
by the Israeli naval forces against Palestinian fishermen form part of a policy
of collective punishment of civilians, which is illegal under international
humanitarian and human rights law.

 

Gaza update 7-13 October 2012

Gaza update 14-20 October 2012

Gaza update 30 September -06 October
2012

Gaza update 23-09 September  2012

 

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