Israeli Occupation Forces Escalates their Attacks Against Fishermen: 8 Fishermen Arrested and 2 Boats Confiscated off Rafah Shore
Date: 01 June 2022
Time: 10:00 GMT
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the ongoing Israeli attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea; the latest was yesterday when the Israeli naval forces arrested 8 fishermen off western Rafah Seaport and confiscated their two fishing boats.
According to PCHR’s follow-up, at approximately 19:00 on Tuesday, 31 May 2022, Israeli gunboats chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles off western Rafah Seaport, south of the Gaza Strip, and opened fire at them. They = surrounded a fishing boat and arrested 5 fishermen on board: Mahmoud Ibrahim Hussain Abu ‘Odah (36), Mohammed Khaled Ibrahim Abu ‘Odah (22), Hussain Mohammed Ibrahim Abu ‘Odah (20), Mohammed Sa’eed Rajab Abu ‘Odah (22), and Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Ali Abu ‘Odah (18). Around half an hour later, the Israeli gunboats surrounded another fishing boat and arrested 3 other fishermen on board namely: Ibrahim Sa’eed Rajab Abu ‘Odah (19), Hasan Mohammed Ibrahim Abu ‘Odah (26) and Reda Mohammed Mahmoud al-Mubasher (42). All of the arrestees were taken to an unknown destination and the two fishing boats were confiscated.
At approximately 04:00 on Wednesday, 01 June 2022, the Israeli authorities but kept the two fishermen Hasan and Hussain Mohammed Ibrahim Abu ‘Odah under arrest.
It is noteworthy that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) restrict work of Palestinian fishermen and allow them to sail only within 6 to 12 nautical miles in the western Gaza Strip. So far in 2022, PCHR documented injury of 7 fishermen and arrest of 33 others, including 6 children; 5 of them are still under arrest. Also, the Israeli authorities continue to keep 9 fishing boats and dozens of fishing equipment in their custody.
In light of the above, PCHR emphasizes that the Israeli practices against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip constitute a grave violation of all international conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Also, the Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen violate the Fourth Geneva Convention relevant to the protection of civilians in time of occupation and stipulates the need to protect workers and guarantee their integrity.
PCHR reiterates its call on the international community, including the States Party to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to force Israeli authorities to cease attacks and persecution of Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza waters, and to allow fishermen to fish freely. Moreover, PCHR calls upon Israeli authorities to compensate fishermen for their losses caused by the continued Israeli attacks and release the detained fishing boats and equipment.