Friday, June 12, 2015

Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian fishing boats

June 12, 2015 6:08 A.M. (Updated: June 13, 2015 9:53 A.M.)
 
A Palestinian policeman inspects a burned boat on a beach in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on Jan. 3, 2015. (AFP)
 
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, forcing fishermen to flee the area in fear for their lives, a local union said.The union also reported that Israeli forces confiscated eight fishing nets late Thursday. The report comes as several Palestinian fishermen have been detained this month, and three have been shot dead by Israeli forces since September.Risk of death or detention by Israeli forces is compounded by ongoing harassment and interference with their work from Israeli naval forces who frequently confiscate boats and fishing materials, according to documentation by the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights.An Israeli army spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Friday's incident.In a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas last summer, Israel agreed to expand the fishing zone off Gaza's coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore and to continue to expand the area gradually, however fishermen are routinely stopped within the zone.Near-daily confrontation with Israeli naval forces come as many Gazan residents are food insecure, and over 90 percent of Palestinians working in the fishing industry live below the poverty line in Gaza, the Secretary-general of the Union of Fishermen told Ma'an.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Israeli forces release 5 detained fishermen in Gaza

June 4, 2015 10:06 A.M. (Updated: June 4, 2015 10:07 A.M.)
 
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday evening released five Palestinian fishermen who were detained near al-Sudaniya beach in the northern Gaza Strip the same morning. Secretary general of the fishermen union Amjad al-Sharafi told Ma'an that Israeli forces released the five fishermen from the Baker family who were detained earlier. 
Also Thursday, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions in Gaza said that Israeli forces arrested 60 Palestinian fishermen and seized or destroyed 30 fishing boats since the start of the ceasefire last August. 

The general director of the union Sami al-Asmi said in a statement that Israeli forces seized 77 boats in the last four years, returned 14 of them and destroyed five. They also killed fisherman Sayed Abu Riyala while he was working last March. 

He added that among the 60 fishermen arrested, three remain in Israeli custody for the possession of fiberglass, which used to be legal but now isn't according to Israeli regulations. 


Al-Asmi demanded that Israel stop its continuous attacks on farmers and fishermen in Gaza Strip, and called for the release of those arrested.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Israeli Naval Forces Wound Two Fishers and Arrest Five Others, including Child in Gaza Sea

 PCHR

Tuesday, 02 June 2015 00:00
Ref: 26/2015

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.

Moheeb Ahed 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:

1. 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;
2. Pay compensation to the victims of Israel’s violations for the physical and material damage caused to fishers and their property;
3. Release Palestinian fishermen who have been under the Israeli custody; and
4. 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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Palestinian fisherman injured by Israeli naval fire

May 27, 2015 2:09 P.M. (Updated: May 27, 2015 8:26 P.M.)
 
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian fisherman was injured as Israeli naval forces opened fire at fishermen off the coast of western Gaza City on Wednesday.Witnesses said Israeli forces injured fisherman Islam Murad, the third Palestinian fishermen to be injured by live Israeli fire this week.An Israeli army spokeswoman did not have record of the incident at the time of Ma'an's request for comment.Murad's injury Wednesday comes as Palestinian fishermen face near daily fire, ongoing harassment, and interference with their work from both Israeli and Egyptian naval forces.Egyptian forces injured a Palestinian fisherman with live fire on Monday, shortly after two other Gazan fishermen were shot and injured by Israeli forces earlier in the day for allegedly leaving the designated fishing zone.
Israeli forces also reportedly opened fire on boats Sunday.Restrictions on fishing zones off the coast of the Gaza Strip have been heavily enforced by Israeli forces as part of a blockade imposed on the strip since 2006, as forces repeatedly opened fire on Palestinians on land and at sea, confiscated fishing boats and equipment, and detained fishermen.March alone witnessed a total of 35 incidents of shootings and incursions into the coastal enclave according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.Israel agreed to expand the fishing zone off Gaza's coast as part of last summer's ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, however fishermen are regularly prevented from fishing within the agreed limits.

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PCHR

At approximately 03:00 on Wednesday, 27 May 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian gunboat sailing within 3 nautical miles off the Gaza Seaport, west of Gaza City.  As a result, fisherman Islam al-Sayed Khamis Murad (25) from al-Shati' refugee camp was hit with two bullets to the top of the right thigh and the left arm.  He was  taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and his condition was described as moderate.  Islam Murad said to a PCHR fieldworker that:

"At approximately 00:30 on Wednesday, 27 May 2015, I went with my brother, Mahmoud (23), on a fishing boat owned by my brother, from the Gaza Seaport to the west.  We were sailing within 7 nautical miles off the shore when we were fishing.  After catching a large amount of fish at approximately 03:00, we left the area.  Three Israeli gunboats stationed 3 nautical miles off the shore chased and opened fire at us wounding me."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Egyptian navy shoots, injures Gaza fisherman

May 26, 2015 9:49 P.M. (Updated: May 27, 2015 2:50 P.M.) 
 

(MaanImages/File)
 
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian naval forces late Monday opened fire on a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, injuring a fisherman from Rafah.Palestinian sources identified the fisherman as Muhammad al-Bardawil. The shooting came after two other Gazan fishermen were shot and injured by Israeli forces earlier in the day for allegedly leaving the designated fishing zone.Last week, a Gazan fishing boat was damaged when Egyptian gunboats fired on it, although no injuries were reported.Egypt upholds an Israeli military blockade on Gaza, keeping borders largely closed and limiting imports, exports, and the freedom of movement of its residents.On the land border, the Egyptian government has actively destroyed smuggling tunnels since the military coup in the summer of 2013, and is creating a kilometer-wide buffer zone.Israeli forces, meanwhile, have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinians on land and at sea. March alone witnessed a total of 35 incidents of shootings, incursions into the coastal enclave, and arrests, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

Monday, May 25, 2015

2 Gaza fishermen shot, injured by Israeli navy

May 25, 2015 11:04 P.M. (Updated: May 25, 2015 1:47 P.M.) 

(AFP/File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian fishermen were shot and injured by Israeli navy forces off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, a local union said.Nizar Ayyash, speaker of the fishermen's union in Gaza, told Ma'an that Muhammad Ziad Bakr, 26, was taken to hospital for treatment after he was shot by Israeli forces.An Israeli army spokeswoman said that a fishing vessel deviated from the designated fishing zone and after warning shots were fired, forces fired at the lower extremities of a fisherman.A direct hit was confirmed, she added. 
Some hours later, Imad Muhsin Bakir, 26, was shot and injured in the same area and evacuated to Shifa hospital in Gaza City for treatment.
Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian fisherman and farmers since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014 that ended a devastating 50-day Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip.In March alone, there were a total of 35 incidents of shootings, incursions into the coastal enclave, and arrests, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.The shootings left 10 injured, including three minors.

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PCHR

At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 25 May 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Soudaniyah shore, north of Gaza City opened fire at a fishing boat belonging to Mohammed Ziyad Baker (30) who was sailing within 3 nautical miles.  As a result, the aforementioned civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the left hand.  'Emad al-Deen Musen, who was also on board the boat, sustained metal bullet shrapnel wound to the foot.  The two wounded fishermen were taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to receive medical treatment.  Medical sources described their injuries ad minor.
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At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 25 May 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at the fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles off al-Soudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia.  No causalities were reported.

IOF Open Fire Injures 3 Fishermen in Northern Gaza, Al Mezan Condemns the Israeli Attacks against Fishermen and Calls for International Protection for Them

25-05-2015 13:39

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continues attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza sea. The IOF opens fire on fishermen and destroys and confiscate their boats and equipment.
According to Al Mezan’s field investigations, at approximately 9:00 am on Monday 25 May 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a fishing boat that was carrying four fishermen. The boat was approximately three nautical miles to the west of Al Karama Towers, off of the coast of the North Gaza district. Three fishermen; including a minor, were injured in the attack. Al Mezan identified the injured as follows:
  • Mohamed Baker, 30, who sustained a rubber-coated bullet wound to his left elbow;
  • Ziyad Baker, 21, who sustained a rubber-coated bullet wound to a toe on his right foot; and
  • Emad El-Deen Baker, 16, who sustained a rubber-coated bullet wound to his right thigh.

The Israeli Navy continuously abuses fishermen with degrading and threatening language.
In his affidavit to Al Mezan, fisherman Mohamed Baker, one of the injured, stated that: “at around 6:30 am on Monday, 25 May 2015, we headed to the north-western area of the fishermen’s port located west of Gaza City, by a fishing boat (Hasakah). We stopped the boat about three nautical miles from the shore. We started fishing. After about half an hour, we were surprised by two Israeli naval boats approaching us and shooting heavily at us. We quickly left the area for the shore. After approximately half an hour, we returned to fish. We stopped the boat about 300 meters away from the illuminated buoys positioned to the north. The buoys form a line demarcating a no-go zone for Palestinian fishermen. We resumed fishing and stayed for almost one hour, during which the current drifted a little nearer to the illuminated buoys. Suddenly, at around 9:00 am, I saw two Israeli gunboats approaching us again very quickly. I then turned on the boat’s engine and quickly steered towards the south. The two Israeli boats continued to pursue us and fire at us. When they were about two meters away from us, I heard an Israeli soldier insulting us using a loudspeaker. I heard the sound of shooting and I felt pain in my right elbow. I also heard both Emad El Deen and Ziyad screaming. Then the two Israeli boats left the area, heading to the north. We reached the fishing port and were taken to Al Shifa' Hospital in Gaza City by an ambulance.”

The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expresses its strong condemnation of the continuation of the Israeli closure of which the imposition of access restricted areas (ARA) is a policy. The violations by Israeli forces in the ARA lead to the arrest, killing and injury of civilians, particularly fishermen and farmers. The attacks deprive the population of access to basic, fundamental, and inalienable rights and amount to serious violations of international law, including the complete prohibition on torture and ill-treatment. Al Mezan warns of the consequences of the continued escalation of these practices in view of the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators for violations of international law.
Al Mezan reiterates its call on the international community to promptly intervene and to uphold its legal and moral obligations towards civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory; to respect its legal obligations under international law to provide protection for Palestinian civilians; and to pursue all suspects of grave breaches of international law.

End