Thursday, September 24, 2015

IOF seeking to empty the sea of Palestinian fishermen, PGFTU

PNN/ Gaza

Head of The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, Sami Al-Umsi on Monday said that the Israeli occupation’s naval forces are seeking to empty the sea of Palestinian fishermen through the policy of daily ongoing attacks.
In a statement, Al-Umsi denounced Israeli naval forces opening heavy fire on fishermen boats off the Khan Younis shores southern Gaza strip, adding that the attacks have been escalating through the past months.

According to Al-Umsi, IOF have kidnapped over 60 Palestinian fishermen, three of them are still detained under charge of possessing Fiber glass material. IOF have also confiscated about 30 boats since the beginning of the ceasefire in August last year between the Israeli occupation authorities and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza.

Al-Umsi stressed that fishing and navigation is a legitimate right for all Palestinian fishermen, adding that the occupation’s crimes of damaging this profession should not pass.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Israeli forces shoot, injure child of fisherman in Gaza

Sept. 3, 2015 10:24 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 4, 2015 7:22 P.M.) 
Palestinian fishermen collect their catch off the coast of Gaza City on July 6, 2014. (AFP/Mahmud Hams, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian child near the shores of the Beit Lahiya village in the northern Gaza Strip, medics said.Medics told Ma'an that Bilal Abu Amro, 11, was shot in the thigh while he was with his father, a fisherman.He was taken to Kamal Adwan hospital for treatment. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were unaware of the incident.Palestinian fishermen making a living off of the shores of the besieged Gaza Strip face daily risks, including routine harassment from Israeli naval forces, confiscation of boats and materials, detention, and potentially death.At least three Palestinian fishermen have been shot dead by Israeli forces since September.Israeli forces often allege that fishermen deviate from the designated fishing zone and pose a security threat.The exact limits of the zone set by Israeli authorities are often ambiguous, and authorities have not abided by the fishing zone agreed upon in last summer's ceasefire agreement, rights groups say.The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of last summer's ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the "security buffer zone."On July 31, Mohammad Hamid al-Masri,17, was shot by Israeli forces and died instantly north of Beit Lahiya near the border fence.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Israel navy shoots, critically injures Gaza fisherman

July 21, 2015 12:37 P.M. (Updated: July 21, 2015 2:18 P.M.)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces shot and injured a Palestinian fisherman with live rounds off the coast of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, witnesses said.Witnesses said that the fisherman in his 20s was hit with a live bullet in his back and several rubber-coated steel bullets in his hand while fishing off the coast northwest of Gaza City.The unidentified fisherman was taken to al-Shifa Hospital where his injury was reported as critical.An Israeli army spokeswoman had information of an incident off the Gazan coast, but said she was not aware of any injuries sustained by Palestinians.She said that Israeli naval forces fired warning shots "in the air and in the water" after a Palestinian fishing vessel "deviated from the designated fishing zone."She said that the boat "ignored the warnings," at which point Israeli forces fired at the boat's engine.She said that the fishermen and boat were taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod for questioning, before they were released.It was not clear whether the incident was related to the injury reported in Gaza.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 May alone, there were a total of 51 incidents of shootings, incursions into the coastal enclave, and arrests, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.This included 41 shootings, which left nine injured, including one minor.The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the "security buffer zone."

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


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.



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."