Ref: 84/2019

 

The Israeli naval forces continue their attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and preventing them from sailing and fishing freely.

 

According to the investigations of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 06:30 on Saturday, 13 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah Shore opened fire at Palestinian Fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles. The Israeli gunboats then surrounded one of the boats manned by Mohammed Isma’el Isma’el al-Bardawil (40) and his nephew, Ahmed Wael Isma’el al-Bardawil (16); both from al-Mawasi neighborhood, west of Rafah. The Israeli naval soldiers then ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat.  They were arrested while their boat was confiscated.

 

Ahmed al-Bardawil said to the PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli gunboat chased and opened fire at their fishing boat, damaging the boat’s engine. Furthermore, they forced them to jump into the water and were then arrested.  Ahmed added that they were then blindfolded and transferred to a detention center, until he was released at 19:00 on the same day; however, his uncle is still under arrest while the fishing boat is still under custody.

 

PCHR strongly condemns the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and 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. PCHR also calls upon the Israeli authorities to release all the Palestinian fishermen and the fishing boats and to compensate the fishermen for the damages.