On Sunday afternoon, 16 July 2017, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat. As a result, 2 fishermen were wounded and then taken to Naser Hospital in Khan Younis for medical treatment. Doctors there described their condition as moderate. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has monitored the escalation of Israeli attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, indicating the ongoing Israeli policy to target fishermen and their livelihood and deny them fishing and sailing freely in the Gaza Strip sea.
At approximately 21:00 on Sunday, 16 July 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Younis shore heavily opened fire at a fishing boat manned by 3 fishermen sailing within the limited area allowed for fishing. As aresult, 2 fiserhmen were wounded and then taken to Naser Hospital in Khan Younis for medical treatment. Doctors there described their condition as moderate. Both fishermen are from Khan Younis and as Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Jahjouh (19) who was wounded with a bullet to the left leg; and Khader Yasser Abu Shammalah (24) who was wounded with a bullet to the right leg.
The wounded fisherman, Khader Yasser Abu Shammalah, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“At approximately 19:00, I headed for fishing with two other fishermen; Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Jahjouh (19) and Murad Mahmoud Abu Jahjouh (29), who owns the boat. After two hours while withdrawing the fishing net out of the water within the limited area allowed for fishing, an Israeli gunboat surprisingly approached us until becoming only 15 meters away from us. The Israeli naval soldiers started randomly and directly shooting at the boat. After moments, I felt severe pain in my right leg and fell on the boat. I found out that I was wounded and recognized that Ibrahim was wounded as well. We started yelling, and Murad shouted that we are wounded. We heard the Israeli soldiers talking btu did not understand. After minutes, Murad sailed to the shore, and Ibrahim and I were taken to Naser Hospital in Khan Younis. Doctors there said that I was wounded with a bullet to the right knee while Ibrahim was wounded with a bullet to the left leg. Both of us were admitted to the Department of Orthopedic for medical treatment.”
In light of the above, PCHR strongly condemns the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and calls for:
- Immediately ending Israeli violations against fishermen and allowing them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea;
- Ensuring remedy for victims of Israeli violations for the physical and material damage; and
- Calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to intervene to stop all Israeli violations against fishermen and allow them to fish freely in the Gaza Sea.