Fact Sheet                                                                    

 

Israeli Attacks on Fishermen in the Gaza Sea

 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
documented 14 attacks launched by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against
Palestinian fishermen during the reporting period (01 July – 31 August 2012),[1]
including 11 incidents in which the IOF fired at fishermen and fishing boats,
as a result of which one fishing boat was damaged, and one incident in which 2
fishermen were arrested while fishing nearly 300 meters offshore.  The IOF also confiscated the fishing boat and
equipment belonging to the 2 detained fishermen. 

 

– Violation of
the Right to Life and Security of Person

 

Israel’s attacks against Palestinian fishermen
in the Gaza Strip constitutes a flagrant violation of international
humanitarian and human rights law, especially the right to life and security of
the person, in accordance with Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, to which the State of Israel is a party.  The IOF perpetrated
violations against Palestinian fishermen in the sea when these fishermen did
not pose any threat to Israeli naval troops.  The fishermen were
practicing their right to work and seeking their livelihood within the
territorial waters of the Gaza Strip when the IOF attacked them.

 

First: Firing
at Fishing Boats in the Gaza Strip Waters

 

During the reporting period, PCHR documented 11
cases in which the IOF fired at Palestinian fishermen in the sea off the Gaza
shore, though no injuries were reported.  These attacks took place within
the 3 nautical miles Israel allows fishermen to sail and fish in.  PCHR
also noticed that these firing incidents against fishermen and their boats took
place in the context of denying fishermen their livelihood, and the imposition
of more restrictions to terrify and prevent the fishermen from practicing their
work freely.

 

 

Second:
Arresting Fishermen and Confiscating Fishing Tools

 

During the reporting period, PCHR documented one
incident in which IOF arrested 2 Palestinian fishermen, including a 16-year-old
boy, while they were fishing 300 meters off the northern Gaza Strip shore.  The fishermen are: Kamel Deeb al-Anqah (60)
and his son Mahmoud (16).

 

In his testimony to PCHR, Kamel al-Anqah stated
the following: 

 

At
05:00 on Tuesday, 28 August 2012, I went fishing with my son Mahmoud.  At
06:15, we collected our fishing nets and sailed to the shore.  At 06:30,
when we were nearly 300 meters off al-Waha Resort, 2 Israeli gunboats arrived
and circled my fishing boat.  There were 5 soldiers on board each
gunboat.  The soldier started firing intensively above our heads. 
One of the soldiers shouted at me and ordered me to stop.  The gunfire
continued.  My son and I were panicking, so we stopped.  One of the
gunboats got closer to our boat and one of the soldiers ordered us to take our
clothes off and swim towards the Israeli gunboat.  The other gunboat was
behind us.  We took our clothes off and swam towards the gunboat. 
The soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded us.  I saw a soldier leave the
other gunboat and go to my boat. He attached a rope to my boat.  They then
sailed for more than 2 hours.  We were transferred to a security center
near the shore.  We were interviewed by an officer, who questioned us
until approximately 10:30.  The soldiers gave us clothes and then drove us
in a jeep to an unknown place.  At around 12:00, we arrived.  I could
recognize this place; it was the Erez crossing.  The soldiers held us
in a room there till 14:00.  They asked us what our names were and about
our work in fishing.  We were released at approximately 15:30.  The
soldiers refused to give me the fishing boat and tools back.  My son Mahmoud
has suffered from bad psychological conditions because of the pressure and
panic we experienced.

 

Third: Damage
of Fishing Equipment

 

At 10:50 on Tuesday, 28 August 2012, 2 Israeli
gunboats surrounded 6 Palestinian fishing boats sailing nearly 400 meters off
al-Sudaniya area in Beit Lahia, in the north of the Gaza Strip.  The
Israeli gunboats opened fire at the 6 boats, damaging one of them. 

 

Mohammed Mahmoud Hejazi al-Louh (21), who was
on board of one of the 6 fishing boats, stated the following:

 

Two Israeli gunboats
with several soldiers suddenly appeared and got as close as to 10 meters from
the boat.  I was on board of the boats,
together with another 3 fishermen.  While firing at the front of the
fishing boat, a soldier on one of the gunboats ordered me to stop, but I
refused.  The other gunboat was surrounding our fishing boat.  I turned
the boat around to escape while the boat was under direct fire.  I managed to escape, even though the Israeli
gunboats were only 400 meters from the shore, and the boat was hit by 5 bullets
in different places.  The other 5 fishing boats also managed to escape.

 

 

 

Table of Israeli Attacks on
Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza City

(01 July – 31 August 2012)

 

Month

Firing

Injuries

Detention

Number of Detainees

Custody of Fishing Boats

Damage of Fishing Equipment

July

2

0

0

0

0

0

August

9

0

1

2

1

1

Total

11

0

1

2

1

1

 

 

 



[1]
This fact sheet addresses violations carried out by the IOF against Palestinian
fishermen in the Gaza Strip while practicing their work.  For more
details, see Fact Sheets at: www.pchrgaza.org.