Israeli Naval forces continued
to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the
reporting period[1]
 (01-30 April 2015), including 15 shooting incidents and a shelling
incident that resulted in wounding a Palestinian fisherman while sailing off
Beit Lahia shore in addition to the damaging of a fishing boat and fishing nets.

  

The Israeli naval forces have
not comply with the ceasefire agreement concluded between Israel and
Palestinian armed groups under Egyptian auspices on 26 August 2014.  This agreement includes allowing Palestinian
fishermen to sail within 6 nautical miles in the Gaza Sea.  According to PCHR’s
investigations, all attacks took place within the distance of six nautical
miles, which proves that Israeli forces’ policies aim to tighten restrictions
on the Gaza Strip’s fishermen and their livelihoods.

 

In a serious development, on 07
March 2015, the Israeli naval forces declared via loud speakers that the
allowed fishing area was reduced to four nautical miles and warned Palestinian
fishermen from approaching this area along the Gaza Sea.  The Fishermen Syndicate in the Gaza Strip declared
suspension of fishing in Gaza waters for three days in protest against the
Israeli Naval forces’ decision.

 

Violations of the International Humanitarian
and Human Rights Law

 

Israel’s attacks against
Palestinian fishermen, who do not pose any threat to Israeli soldiers, in the
Gaza Strip constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian and
human rights law, relevant to the protection of the civilian population and
respect for its rights, including every person’s right to work, and the right
to life, liberty and security of person, as codified in Article 3 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), despite the fact that Israel is
a State Party to the Covenant.  Furthermore, these attacks occurred in a
time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as
they were doing their job to secure a living.  Israeli violations in the
reporting period were as follows:

  

First: Shooting Incidents

 

During the reporting period,
PCHR documented 15 shooting incidents and a shelling incident in which Israeli
forces fired at Palestinian fishermen in the sea off the Gaza Strip shore.  The shooting incidents took place within the allowed
fishing area as follows: 9 shooting incidents off Beit Lahia shore, north of
the Gaza Strip; 3 shooting incident off Khan Yunis shore and 3 shooting
incidents off Rafah shore. As a result, a fisherman was wounded and a fishing
boat and fishing nets were damaged as detailed in the following paragraphs.  

 

Second: Israeli Naval Forces Wound Fisherman

 

 At approximately 16:00 on 08 April
2015, Israeli gunboats chased fishing boats sailing within off Beit Lahia shore
in the north of the Gaza Strip.
 Israeli soldiers opened fire at
a fishing boat, wounding a fisherman, Khaled Mohammed Mohammed Zayed (27), from
al-Salateen area in Beit Lahia village, with 2 bullet to the legs. Zayed was
taken to Kamal Odwan Hospital to receive medical treatment. His wounds were
minor.

 

Third: Damaging Fishing Equipment

 

 At approximately 07:00 on 18 April 2015, Israeli gunboats
stationed off Khan Yunis shore opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats.  As a result, a number of fishing nets
belonging to fisherman Atef Monther Sehweil were damaged.

 At approximately 08:00 on 19 April 2015, Israeli gunboats
stationed off Beit Lahia shore in the north of the Gaza Strip, chased and
opened fire at fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. As a result, a
fishing boat was hit by a number of bullets.

 

Israeli Navy Forces Return 15 fishing Boats That
Were in Custody

 

 On 30 April 2015, Israeli forces returned 15 fishing boats out
of 75 ones that were confiscated during Israeli attacks on Palestinian
fishermen in the last 2 years. That policy increased the suffering of hundreds
of fishermen, who lost their property and only source of living, since the
Israeli naval blockade was tightened in mid-2007.

 

Nizar Ayyash, Director the Palestinian
Fishermen Syndicate, said to a PCHR fieldworker that repeated Israeli attacks
on fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea were carried out within the allowed area.
Ayyash added that Israeli navy forces have kept in custody 60 fishing boats
belonging to dozens of fishermen and other fishing equipment on boats of the
those boats, including generators, engines and other tools. He pointed out that
this is the first time that Israeli forces return confiscated fishing boats with
their engines and the majority of the boats need maintenance, which will add more
financial burden on their owners.

      

 

Table of Israeli Attacks on
Palestinian Fishermen in the Gaza Strip in April 2015

 

Month

Shooting

Shelling

Injuries

Damaging fishing Boats

Damaging Fishing Nets

April 2015

15

1

1

1

1

 

 

Table of Israeli Attacks on
Palestinian Fishermen in the Gaza Strip Since the Beginning of 2015

Month

Firing

Killed Persons

Injuries

Arrest Incidents

Number of Detainees

Confiscation of Fishing Boats and Fishing Equipment

Damaging Fishing Equipment

January

12

4

2

8

1

2

4

February

15

March

12

2

2

6

3

1

April 2015

15

1

2 (a fishing boat – a net)

Total

54

7

4

14

4

2

7

 

 

 

 



[1]
This fact sheet issued by PCHR is the thirty-four of its kind.  It
addresses violations carried out by the Israeli forces against Palestinian
fishermen in the Gaza Strip while practicing their work.  For more
details, see Fact Sheets at: www.pchrgaza.org.