Israeli naval forces drowned 2 fishing boats manned by 5 fishermen who were sailing in Rafah Sea in the southern Gaza Strip while nearby fishermen managed to save their lives and returned them back to the shore.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 25 December 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah Shore in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire and pumped water at the Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, 2 fishing boats were drowned; one of them was manned by Tariq Ziyad ‘Ali Siam (26); his brother, Mohammed (23); and his cousin Ahmed Sa’id Siyam (24) while the other boat was manned by Nader Isma’il Ahmed Shalouf (24) and Anas Suboh (20). After drowning the boat, a number of fishermen sailed there and saved the five fishermen.
It should be noted that the Israeli naval forces continued their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen in Gaza Waters as this week has witnessed several attacks, including the shooting by the Israeli gunboats at Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing in different areas off the Gaza Strip shore. These attacks aim at terrifying and preventing fishermen from fishing and forcing them to flee and stop fishing.
PCHR emphasizes that the attacks by the Israeli naval forces against the fishermen in the Gaza Strip fall within the collective punishment policy imposed against the Palestinian civilians and violate the right to work codified in Article (6) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural 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;
- 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 upon the Israeli authorities to compensate the Palestinian fishermen for their losses resulting from the attacks on them while fishing in the Gaza Sea.