Israeli naval forces continued their attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, prevented them from practicing their job freely and denied them access to areas where fish breed. The Israeli naval forces chased the fishermen, attacked them and detained their fishing boats and equipment, despite sailing within the allowed fishing areas. These violations refute the Israeli authorities’ claims regarding easing the ongoing naval blockade and expanding the fishing area to 9 nautical miles off the Gaza shore.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 06:40 on Sunday, 26 August 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Resort shore, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and then surrounded a fishing boat belonging to Hasan Mohamed al-‘Abed al-Sultan (47), from al-Salateen neighborhood. The fishing boat was manned by Uranus Sharif Mohammed al-Sultan (22) and Hasan Mahmoud ‘Abed al-Malek al-Sultan (23). The Israeli naval soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. The fishermen were arrested and their fishing boat was confiscated.
In light of the above, PCHR strongly condemns the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Therefore, PCHR’s:
- 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.
- Calls upon the Israeli authorities to stop chasing the fishermen and enable them to fish freely, especially that they do not pose threat to the Israel authorities; and
- Calls for releasing the arrested fishermen and fishing equipment detained by the Israeli authorities.