Ref: 32/2019


Israeli naval forces continue their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen in Gaza waters and prevent them from fishing freely.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 09:00 on Friday, 08 March 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sodanya shore, west of Jabalia, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within three nautical miles. The Israeli gunboats then surrounded a fishing boat manned by Yasser Soliman Yussuf Baker (31), Tamer Soliman Yussuf Baker (27), Waleed Mohssen ‘Eid Baker (24), and Yossry Zakaria Sa’ed Baker (21), from al-Shati’ refugee camp. The Israeli naval soldiers then order the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards one of the gunboats. The fishermen were then arrested and their fishing boat was kept in custody.

At approximately 18:00 on Friday, 08 March 2019, the Israeli authorities released the arrested fishermen and kept their fishing boat in custody. It should be mentioned that the four fishermen were hit with rubber bullets in different parts of their bodies and were taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, where doctors classified their wounds between minor and moderate.

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 release the fishing boats and equipment detained by them and compensate the Palestinian fishermen for their losses resulting from the attacks on them while fishing in the Gaza Sea.