On Monday, 08 January 2018, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. Israeli naval forces then arrested 2 fishermen and confiscated a fishing boat manned by them. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) monitored the escalation of Israeli attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, in addition to the continuous shooting and shelling against them since 06:00 on Monday morning, despite sailing within the allowed fishing areas.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 12:00 on Monday, 08 January 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Resort shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. The Israeli gunboats then surrounded a fishing boat belonging to Mohamed Omar al-Najjar. The fishing boat was manned by Jehad Suhail Murad (25) and Mostafa Mohamed Murad (18), both of them are from al-Shati’ refugee camp in Gaza City. The Israeli naval soldiers then forced them to take off their clothes, jumped into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. The fishermen were then arrested while the boat was confiscated.
In light of the above, PCHR strongly condemns the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and calls for:
- Immediately ending Israeli violations against fishermen and allowing them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea;
- Releasing those fishermen arrested by Israeli forces; and
- Calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to intervene to stop all Israeli violations against fishermen and allow them to fish freely in the Gaza Sea.