On Wednesday, 21 February 2018, Israeli gunboats chased Palestinian fishing boats and opened fire at them, wounding a fisherman.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), on 10:15 on Wednesday, 21 February 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed of al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, ‘Etaf ‘Aahed Sobhi Baker (34), from al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, was hit with a rubber bullet to the head. Doctors classified his injury as minor. Moreover, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives.
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.
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;
- Calls for compensating the victims of Israeli violations for the bodily and material harm caused to them; 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.