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15 July 2015

 

Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period (01-30 June 2015), including 10 shooting incidents that resulted in wounding 4 Palestinian fishermen while sailing off Beit Lahia shore in the north of the Gaza Strip, in addition to damaging fishing equipment and tools. Moreover, PCHR documented the detention of 14 fishermen and confiscation of five fishing boats and nets.

 

The Israeli naval forces have not complied 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 six nautical miles in the Gaza Sea.  According to PCHR’s investigations, all attacks took place within the distance of six 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 10 shooting incidents in which Israeli forces fired at Palestinian fishermen in the sea off the Gaza Strip shore.  The shooting incidents took place within the allowed fishing area as follows: 5 shooting incidents off Beit Lahia shore, north of the Gaza Strip; 1 shooting incident off Gaza City shore; and 4 ones off the central Gaza Strip shore. As a result, 4 fishermen were wounded and a
fishing boat and fishing nets were damaged.  

 Second: Israeli Naval Forces Wound 4 Fishermen, including a boy, while fishing in the Gaza Strip Sea

 

 At approximately 07:30 on 01 June 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. As a result, Moheeb Ahed Sobhi Baker (31) sustained 5 bullet wounds to the legs and Mohammed Mahmoud Hejazi al-Louh (23) sustained 2 bullet wounds to the left leg.

 Moheeb Ahed Baker said to a PCHR fieldworker that he and five other fishermen went together for sailing on a fishing boat belonging to Bahjat Baker. He added that they started fishing four nautical miles off al-Sudaniya shore. They had fished for an hour and a half, but suddenly an Israeli gunboat that was around opened fire at them. Baker pointed that they tried to flee after they heard the gunfire, but Israeli gunboats chased and directly fired at them. As a result, he sustained five bullet wounds to the legs and Mohammed Mahmoud al-Louh sustained two bullet wounds to the left leg.

  At approximately 08:05 on 04 June 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya shore, west of Jabalia village in the north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at a fishing boat carrying 5 Palestinian fishermen that was sailing 700 meters off the shore. Israeli officers forced the 5 fishermen to stop, jump into the water and swim towards the 2 Israeli gunboats. They arrested the fishermen and confiscated the fishing boat. At approximately 18:10 on the same day, the 5 fishermen were released via Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, while their boat was kept in custody. It was found that fishermen Omran Mohammed Sobhi Baker (21) and Emad al-Din Mohsen Abed Baker (16) sustained bullet wounds to the left legs, but their wounds were minor.

 

 

Third: Detention of fishermen

 – On 01 June 2015, Israeli naval forces arrested 5 fishermen, including a child, while fishing 4 nautical miles off Gaza City shore. The arrested fishermen were identified as: Adel Sa’id Abu Riyala (42), Yusef Adel Abu Riyala (19), Mohammed Ibrahim al-Najjar (35), Rami Ibrahim al-Najjar (30) and Ibrahim Hani al-Najjar (11). Israeli authorities released 4 of them at midnight, while Rami al-Najjar has been in detention.

 On 03 June 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing 6 nautical miles off Deir al-Balah shore in the central aza Strip. They then surrounded 2 fishing boats on board of which were 4 fishermen. They forced the fishermen to stop, jump in the water and sail towards the gunboat. Israeli naval officers arrested all of them and confiscated the 2 fishing boats. The arrested fishermen were identified as: Hassan Ali Murad (30), Hassan Abdul Rahman Abu Sam’an (19), Haitham Tareq Baker (27) and Mohammed Treq Baker (20). They are all from Gaza City.

 At approximately 08:05 on 4 June 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya shore, west of Jabalia village in north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at a fishing boat carrying 5 Palestinian fishermen that was sailing 700 meters off the shore. Israeli officers forced the 5 fishermen to stop, jump in the water and swim towards the 2 Israeli gunboats. They arrested them and confiscated the fishing boat. The arrested fishermen were identified as: Fahed Ziad Hassan Baker (39) and his son Ziad (20); Walid Mohsen Abed Baker (20) and his brother Emad al-Din (16); and Omran Mohammed Sobhi Baker (21). They are all from al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City. Israeli forces released the 5 fishermen at approximately 18:10, on the same day via Beit Hanoun crossing, but kept the boat in custody.

 Fourth: Fishing equipment and tools in custody

  On 03 June 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing about 6 nautical miles off Deir al-Balah shore in the central Gaza Strip. They surrounded a fishing boats on board of which were 4 fishermen. Israeli navy officers forced them to stop, jump in the water and swim towards the gunboat. Israeli officers arrested them and seized the fishing boat.

 On 04 June 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya area, west of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at a fishing boat carrying 5 fishermen that was sailing 700 meters off the shore. Israeli officers forced them to stop, jump in the water and swim towards the gunboats. They were all arrested and the fishing boat was seized.

 On 11 June 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off Deir al-Balah shore in the central Gaza Strip opened fire at 3 fishing boats sailing 4 nautical miles off the shore. They fired a number of flash bombs overheads. Israeli gunboats chased the Palestinian fishing boats for over 2 hours. They cut off fishing nets belonging to 8 fishermen and confiscated 53 pieces of fishing nets.

 On 16 June 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at fishing boats sailing about 5 nautical miles off Deir al-Balah shore. They chased them and pointed flashlights at them, due to which fishermen fled backwards. Israeli navy officers collected 8 pieces of fishing nets and seized them.

 Fifth: damage of fishing equipment and tools

 On 27 June 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing about 3 nautical miles off Gaza City shore. They surrounded a fishing boat carrying 4 fishermen. They forced the fishermen to take their clothes off. Israeli officers pointed water hoses at them for half an hour and then opened fire at other fishing boats around. As a result, 10 pieces of fishing nets were cut off and a fishing boat sustained 7 bullet hits.

 

 

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

 

Month

Shooting

Injuries

Arrests

Arrested fishermen

Confiscation of fishing boats

Confiscation of fishing nets

Damaging fishing tools

June 2015

10

4

5

14

3

2

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 2015

12

4

2

8

1

2

4

February

15

March

12

2

2

6

3

1

April

15

1

2 (a fishing boat –  nets)

May

27

7

1

2

1

1

3

Total

81

14

5

16

5

3

10