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Israeli Naval forces continued
to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the
reporting period[1]
 (01-31 January 2015), including 12 shooting incidents that
resulted in the injury of 4 fishermen; damaging 4 fishing boats; 2 chasing
incidents that led to the arrest of 8 fishermen, including 2 children; and
confiscation of a fishing boat and  fishing
nets belonging to Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

 

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 12 cases in which Israeli forces fired at Palestinian fishermen
in the sea off the Gaza Strip shore.  As
a result, 4 fishermen were injured.

 

 At approximately 04:00 on 03
January 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza
Strip opened fire and fired shells at a Palestinian fishing boat sailing within
400 meters near the old fishermen port. 
As a result, Salim Jamal Hasan al-No’man (38) from al-Shati’ refugee
camp in Gaza City was hit by a bullet to the left thigh and then taken to Naser
Hospital in Khan Younis to receive medical treatment.  Medical sources said that his injury is
moderate.  Moreover, his fishing boat was
completely burnt.

 

 At approximately on 21 January
2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat boarded by 4
fishermen while sailing off al-Soudaniya shore in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, ‘Atef Mohammed Subhi Baker (19)
was hit by a bullet to the right thigh while Bayan Khamis Baker (20) sustained
shrapnel wound in his forehead. 
Moreover, Mohammed Saber Baker (18) sustained
pulled hamstring and bruises in both legs
due to falling from the boat while Israeli naval forces were chasing him.  The wounded persons were taken to Shifa
Hospital in Gaza City to receive medical treatment, and medical sources said
that his injury is moderate.

 

Second: Arrest of Fishermen:

 

PCHR documented incidents in
which Israeli naval forces arrested and chased 8 fishermen, including 2
children, while they were sailing within about 2-3 nautical miles off northern
Gaza and Gaza City shore.

 

 At approximately 13:00 on 01
January 2015, an Israeli gunboat surrounded a Palestinian fishing boat boarded
by 3 Palestinian fishermen.  The Israeli
naval forces forced the 3 fishermen to take off their clothes and jump to the
water to swim towards the Israeli gunboat. 
The Israeli soldiers then arrested the 3 fishermen and took them to
Ashdod Seaport in addition to confiscating their boat.  The arrested fishermen were identified as Mohammed
Nahedh Mohammed Basalah (20); Eyad ‘Othman No’aman al-Nahal (23) and Mohammed
Hisham Ahmed al-Nahal (21).  At
approximately 23:00 on the same day, all fishermen were released.

 

 On 26 January 2015, Israeli
naval forces arrested 5 fishermen while practicing their work off al-Soudaniyah
shore, north of Gaza City.  The arrested
fishermen were identified as Rami ‘Abdel Mo’ati Ibrahim al-Habil (36) Sa’id
Rami al-Habil (13); ‘Abdel Mo’ati Ibrahim ‘Omer al-Habil (16) and Mer’eb Nahedh
‘Abdullah Abu Riyalah (32).  It should be
mentioned that the Israeli gunboats drowned the boat boarded by the
aforementioned fishermen.  On the same
day evening, all fishermen were released.

 

Third: Confiscation of Fishing Boats

 

During the reporting period,
PCHR documented chasing incidents and confiscation of a fishing boat and other
fishing equipment (pieces of fishing net)
.

 

 On 01 January 2015 and in the
aforementioned incident, an Israeli gunboat surrounded a Palestinian fishing
boat boarded by 3 fishermen.  The Israeli
naval soldiers then confiscated the fishing boat and pieces of net as well as
arresting 3 fishermen.

 

 

Forth: Damaging Fishing Equipment

 

 On 03 January 2015, Israeli
gunboats stationed off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire and
fired shells at a Palestinian fishing boat sailing 400 meters off the old
seaport. As a result, the boat was completely burnt, and a fisherman on the
board was hit by a bullet to the left thigh.

 

 On 11 January 2015, Israeli
gunboats stationed off al-Wahah shore in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire in
the vicinity of Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 1.5 nautical
miles.  As a result, one of the boats was
severely damaged due to being shot with several bullets.

 

 On 21 January 2015, Israeli
gunboats off al-Sudaniyah shore in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at a
fishing boat sailing off al-Sudaniyah shore in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, the boat structure and engine
were severely damaged.

 

 On 26 January 2015, Israeli
naval forces chased a fishing boat while sailing off al-Sudaniyah shore, north
of Gaza and then opened fire at the boat. 
They arrested 5 fishermen who were on its board and then drowned the
boat in the sea.

 

   Table of Israeli
Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza City in January 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

 

 

 



[1]
This fact sheet issued by PCHR is the thirty-two 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.