Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release, 04 June 2015
On Thursday morning, 4 June 2015, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat. They also arrested five fishers, including a child, and confiscated a fishing boat. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) observed that Israeli forces escalated their attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Strip sea and documented the following during last week: five fishers were wounded, including a child, 14 fishers, including two children, were arrested and three fishing boats were confiscated. As a result of these attacks, fishers were denied their right to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Strip sea.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 08:05 on Thursday, 4 June 2015, Israeli naval forces stationed off al-Sudania shore in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat carrying 5 Palestinian fishers on board and sailing at a distance of about 700 meters from the shore. Israeli naval officers, who were on board of two gunboats, forced the five fishers to stop working, jump into the sea and swim toward one of the gunboats. Eventually, the officers arrested them and confiscated the fishing boat. The arrested fishers were identified as: Fahed Zeyad Hasan Baker (39), his sons Na’em (19) and Zeyad,20, Waled Mohsen Abed Baker (20), and his brother Emad Eddin (16). They are all from Gaza City. The fishers are still in custody.
PCHR condemns the continuing Israeli attacks against the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and calls upon Israeli forces to:
- Immediately stop its policy of chasing and arresting Palestinian fishers, to allow them to sail and fish freely, and to return confiscated fishing boats and tools;
- Pay compensation to the victims of Israel’s violations for the physical and material damage caused to fishers and their property;
- Release Palestinian fishermen who have been under the Israeli custody; and
- Calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, to intervene in order to stop Israeli violation against Palestinian fishermen and allow them to fish freely in the Gaza Strip sea.