Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release, 02 June 2015
On Tuesday, 02 June 2015, Israeli naval gunboats chased and opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat sailing off northern Gaza shore wounding two fishers. On Monday morning, 01 June 2015, Israeli naval forces also arrested five Palestinian fishers, including a child, while fishing off Gaza shore. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns these attacks against Palestinian fishers that deny them their right to freely practice fishing in the Gaza sea. PCHR also expresses its concern over the continued Israeli policy of targeting fishers‘ livelihoods in light of the illegal naval blockade imposed on Gaza sea and in conjunction with the sardine season as well.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 02 June 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat sailing within four nautical miles off al-Soudaniya shore, north of Gaza City, wounding two fishers.
MoheebAhed Baker said to a PCHR fieldworker that at approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 01 June 2015, he and five other fishers went together for sailing on a fishing boat belonging to Bahjat Baker. He added that they started fishing four nautical miles off al-Sudaniya shore. They had fished for an hour and a half, but suddenly an Israeli gunboat that was around opened fire at them. Baker pointed that they tried to flee after they heard the gunfire, but Israeli gunboats chased and directly fired at them. As a result, he sustained five bullet wounds to the legs and Mohammed Mahmoud al-Louh sustained two bullet wounds to the left leg.
On Monday, 01 June 2015, Israeli forces arrested five fishers, including a child, while fishing about four nautical miles off Gaza City shore. These fishers were identified as: Adel Sa’id Abu Reyala (42), Yusef Adel Abu Reyala (19), Mohammed Ibrahim al-Najjar (35), Rami Ibrahim al-Najjar (30) and Ibrahim Hani al-Najjar (11). Four of them were released on Monday midnight, while Rami al-Najjar has remained in custody.
PCHR condemns the violations committed by the Israeli navy forces against Palestinian fishers 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.