Ref: 35/2019

 

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the ongoing Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen and their property in the Gaza Strip. PCHR believes that the escalating of Israeli attacks on fishermen constitute a direct targeting to their right to life and work, which are guaranteed under international human rights law.

 

According to PCHR’s investigations, on Sunday, 10 March 2019, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at two buildings belonging to the General Union of Fishing Workers in the central Gaza Strip and Khan Yunis, causing damage to the fishing equipment.

 

Nizar ‘Ayash, Head of the General Union of Fishing Workers in the Gaza Strip, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the warplanes directly targeted the building of the General Union of Fishing Workers, west of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, the building sustained grave damage, in addition to destroying a fishing boat and damaging 2 others. ‘Ayash added that the targeting of the Seaport in Khan Yunis caused great damage to the Union’s building and nearby buildings belonging to the Union in Khan Yunis. ‘Ayash pointed out that the daily Israeli attacks against fishermen and their property  along the Gaza Strip shore obstruct the fishermen from fishing freely and cause them heavy losses, especially that they are denied access to the areas where fish breed.

 

In a separate attack, at approximately 08:45 on Sunday, 10 March 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northeast of Beit Lahia, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. They then surrounded a fishing boat sailing within 1.5 nautical mile and manned by the fisherman Hussam Khader Khalil Barakat (22), from al-Shati’ Camp in Gaza City. The Israeli naval soldiers ordered Hussam to take off his clothes and jump into the water. Hussam was then arrested and the fishing boat was kept in custody.

 

PCHR reiterates its condemnations of the ongoing Israeli attacks against the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea, which violate the right to life and work guaranteed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and all laws and international legislations. Thus, PCHR:

 

Calls upon the International community to put pressure on the Israeli authorities to stop their attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip,  especially that they do not pose threat to the Israel naval forces deployed in the Gaza Sea and along the costal border fence.

 

Calls upon the Israeli authorities to compensate the fishing sector for its losses due to the ongoing Israeli attacks against the fishermen and their property in the Gaza Strip.