As Part of their Attacks against Palestinian Fishermen: IOF Reduce Fishing Area off Gaza Shore
On Thursday morning, 19 December 2019, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) decided to decrease the allowed fishing area from 10 to 6 nautical miles off the Gaza Strip shore in violation of fishermen’s right to fish freely that is guaranteed under the international laws, including the International Labor Convention. These Israeli measures came in light of the Israeli tightening policy of the naval blockade and ongoing Israeli attacks against the Palestinian fishermen and their equipment.
Nizar ‘Ayash, Head of the Palestinian Fishermen’s Syndicate in the Gaza Strip, said to the Palestinian Center for human Rights (PCHR’s) fieldworker that on Thursday, 19 December 2019, the Israeli authorities informed the Palestinian Civil Affairs of reducing the fishing area all the way to the northern Gaza Strip to 6 nautical miles, and to 10 nautical miles in the central and southern Gaza Strip.
In addition to decreasing the fishing areas, the Israeli naval forces chase and attack fishermen and ban them from fishing and sailing freely. Since the beginning of 2019, PCHR documented about 243 shooting incidents that resulted in the injury of 13 fishermen and damage to 6 fishing boats. Moreover, 23 fishermen were arrested and 11 others were detained.
PCHR condemns the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza Strip shore, including chasing them, reducing the fishing area and banning fishermen from sailing. Thus, PCHR:
- Calls upon the Israeli authorities to stop their attacks against fishermen and compensate them for their losses; and
- Calls upon the Israeli authorities to withdraw their decision of reducing the fishing area and to enable fishermen to fish and sail freely.