Yesterday, 06 November 2017, Israeli gunboats chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and opened fire at the boat. After that, the Israeli gunboats surrounded a fishing boat sailing within 4 nautical miles and then opened fire at it wounding 2 fishermen. The Israeli naval soldiers then arrested the fishermen and confiscated their boat. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has monitored the escalation of Israeli attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, indicating the Israeli ongoing policy to target fishermen and their livelihood.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 13:00 on Monday, 06 November 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. They then surrounded a fishing boat manned by Hasan ‘Ali ‘Othman Meqdad (28) and his brother Mohammed (25), both from al-Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza city. The Israeli naval soldiers opened fire at the fishermen. As a result, Hasan Meqdad sustained metal bullet wound to the right thigh and Mohammed sustained a live bullet wound to the left knee in addition to several metal bullets to the right thigh and right foot joint. The soldiers then ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. The fishermen were then arrested and taken to Ashdod Seaport as their boat was confiscated.
At approximately 23:30 on the same day, the Israeli forces released Hasan Meqdad while kept Mohammed under arrest. Mohammed received medical treatment in Barzilai Medical Center in Israel and then was released at approximately 00:30.
Moreover, the Israeli gunboats opened fire on Monday evening at a group of fishing boats sailing off al-Waha shore in the northern Gaza Strip. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee and return to the shore fearing for their lives and safety.
PCHR strongly condemned the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and:
- Immediately ending Israeli violations against fishermen and allowing them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea;
- Ensuring remedy for victims of Israeli violations for the physical and material damage; 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.