Israeli naval forces killed a Palestinian fisherman after opening fire at a fishing boat sailing in Gaza Sea. The shooting led to wounding 2 fishermen, who were arrested, and damaging the fishing boat. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen, which are part of targeting fishermen in their livelihood and denying them fishing and sailing freely in the Gaza Strip Sea.
Mahmoud ‘Adel Abu Riyalah (19), from Gaza City, who was wounded in this attack said that, at approximately 15:30 on Sunday, 25 February 2018, Israeli gunboats chased a Palestinian fishing boat manned by Isma’il Saleh Abu Riyalah (18) and ‘Ahed Hasan Abu Ali (24). The fishing boat was sailing within 3 nautical miles off Gaza City shore when the Israeli naval forces heavily opened fire at it. As a result, Isma’il Saleh Abu Riyalah was hit with a live bullet to the head and then succumbed to his wounds, while Mahmoud Abu Riyalah was hit with a rubber bullet to the leg. Additionally, ‘Ahed Hasan Abu ‘Ali was hit with a rubber bullet to the leg and the fishing boat manned by all of them sustained damage. Mahmoud Abu Riyalah added that the Israeli naval soldiers forced them to take off their clothes, jumped into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. They also arrested and questioned him and ‘Ahed Abu Riyalah, but released them at approximately 20:00 on the same day.
In light of the above, PCHR strongly condemns the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Thus, PCHR:
- Calls for immediately ending Israeli violations against fishermen and allowing them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea;
- Calls for opening an investigation into the killing of Abu Riyalah, who did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval soldiers;
- 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.