On Tuesday, 01 November 2016, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. They then arrested 6 fishermen, including a child, and confiscated two fishing boats and nets on board. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) noticed that Israeli forces have recently concentrated their attacks against fishermen in Gaza Sea, denying them access to their livelihood and free fishing in Gaza Sea.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 07:40, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of al-Wahah Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and then surrounded two of them sailing within 4 nautical miles. Those boats belonging to Khalil Muhsen Abu Riyalah and Khalil Hasan Abu Riyalah were manned by Mohammed Khalil Abu Riyalah (35); Shaher Muhsen Abu Riyalah (20); Khalid Khalid Abu Riyalah (22); ‘Ali Hasan Khalil Abu Riyalah (19); His brother Belal (14) and Hasan ‘Abdel Rahman Hasan Abu Sam’an (20). All of the abovementioned fishermen are from al-Shati’ refugee camp in Gaza City. The Israeli naval soldiers ordered the six fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. They were then arrested while their boats and 55 nets were kept in custody.
PCHR strongly condemns the continued Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen and:
- Demands that chasing fishermen should be immediately stopped and fishermen should be allowed to sail and fish freely;
- Demands compensation for victims of the Israeli violations for the physical and material damage;
- Calls for the release of all the Palestinian fishermen arrested by the Israeli authorities and
- Calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Geneva Convention, to intervene to stop all Israeli violations against fishermen and their property and allow them to fish freely in Gaza Sea.