On Wednesday, 26 September 2018, Following intervention by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in its capacity as the legal representative of the fishing boat’s owner, the Israeli authorities released a fishing boat that it had been detained by the Israeli authorities for more than 9 months.
On 03 December 2017, the Israeli naval forces surrounded a fishing boat belonging to Khamis Salim Abu al-Sadeq (51) from Gaza City sailing within 5 nautical miles off al-Sudaniyah shore and manned by 5 fishermen. Two Israeli gunboats surrounded the fishing boat and the Israeli naval soldiers ordered the captain of the boat to stop fishing. All of the fishermen on board were arrested and taken to Ashdod Seaport. At approximately 23:30 on the same day, the fishermen were released while the Israeli authorities kept the fishing boat and equipment under custody. After PCHR’s intervention and pleading, in its capacity as the legal representative of the fishing boat’s owner, the Israeli authorizes released the boat, noting that this boat is considered one of the biggest fishing boats in the Gaza Strip and maintain 50 fishermen and their families.
PCHR reiterates that chasing Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli authorities, depriving them of freely fishing and sailing, attacking and arresting them in addition to confiscating their fishing equipment fall under collective punishments against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and violate the rules of International human rights law relevant to the protection of civilians’ life and respect for their rights, including each person’s right to work, life, security and personal safety, according to Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Thus, PCHR:
- 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; and
- 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.