On Tuesday, 09 January 2018, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats; and the Israeli naval forces then arrested 2 fishermen, including 2 children.

Zakaria Baker, Head of Fishermen Committees in the Agricultural Work Committees Union, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that on Tuesday, 09 January 2018, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5 nautical miles offshore in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli gunboats then chased 2 fishing boats belonging to Ahmed ‘Awad al-Sa’idy and Nafez ‘Ali Salah, both of them are from al-Shati’ refugee camp in Gaza City. The fishing boats were manned by 6 fishermen, including 2 children. In the meantime, the Israeli naval soldiers forced the fishermen to stop fishing, take off their clothes, jumped into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat.  All the fishermen were then arrested and identified as Ahmed ‘Awad al-Sa’idy (37), Mo’min Jamal al-Nu’man (25), Mohamed ‘Awad al-Sa’idy (10), Mohamed Mahmoud Abu Jayyab (23), Akram Mohamed Abu Foul (34), and Mohamed Akram Abu Foul (11).

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has monitored the escalation of Israeli attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, including arrests, confiscation of fishing boats, and continuous shooting and shelling at the boats despite sailing within the allowed fishing area.

It should be noted that the last Israeli attack against fishermen was on Monday, 08 January 2018, in which the Israeli naval forces arrested 2 fishermen and confiscated a fishing boat manned by them.

In light of the above, PCHR strongly condemns the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and calls for:

  1. Immediately ending Israeli violations against fishermen and allowing them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea;
  2. Releasing those fishermen arrested by Israeli forces; and
  3. 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.