Ref: 161/2014  

Israeli gunboats stationed in the Gaza Sea
chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the limit allowed for fishing
and opened fire at them. They arrested 12 fishermen, confiscated 5 boats off
al-Waha shore in Beit Lahia town in the Northern Gaza Strip and damaged fishing
equipment. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the
continued Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and
is concerned over the continued targeting of fishermen and their
livelihoods.  Economic and social rights
of fishermen have been violated by the illegal naval blockade imposed by
Israeli authorities on the Gaza Sea.

 

According to investigations conducted by
PCHR, at approximately 18:30 on Saturday, 06 December 2014, Israeli gunboats
stationed off northwest of al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia town in the
northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within
2-3 miles and then surrounded 5 fishing boats boarded by 12 Palestinian
fishermen.  Israeli forces arrested all
fishermen and took them to an unknown destination.  They also confiscated the five boats and
fishing nets.  The fishermen, who are so
far under arrest, were identified as:

 

· Safwat ‘Abdel
Malek Hasan al-Sultan (30) and Sa’ed Ziyad Mahmoud Zayed (32); both from
al-Salatin neighborhood, who were on a boat belonging to Fahmi Mahmoud Mohammed
Zayed.  Israeli forces confiscated their
boat and fishing nets.

· Mahmoud Mohammed
Mohammed Zayed (29) and his brother Ahmed (30), from al-Salatin neighborhood,
who were both on a boat belonging to their father.  The boat was confiscated and fishing nets
were cut and confiscated.

· Mohammed Amin
Rushdi Abu Wardeh (22) and his brother Yousif (19); from al-Salatin
neighborhood, who were both on the board of a boat belonging to their
father.  The boat was confiscated and
fishing nets were cut and confiscated.

· Belal Abu ‘Odah
(23), Mahmoud Naser Mahfouz (23), Sofian Mahfouz (25), Yaser ‘Othman Meqdad
(26), his brother Adham (27), and Bahaa’ al-Deen al-Najjar (22); all of them
from al-Shati’ refugee camo, west of Gaza City. 
They were on the board of two boats that were confiscated with fishing
nets.

 

PCHR condemns the continued Israeli attacks
against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and:

1. Calls for
immediately stopping the policy of chasing and arresting Palestinian fishermen,
and allowing them to sail and fish freely;

2. Calls upon
Israeli forces to release the detained fishermen and compensate them for the
material damage that might have incurred to them; and

3. Calls upon the
international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth
Geneva Convention of 1949 Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in
Time of War, to immediately intervene to stop the Israeli violations against
the Palestinian fishermen and allow them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza
Sea.