Thursday, June 2, 2016

Israeli forces Release 5 Fishermen, 2 of whom Wounded, and Keep 2 Fishing Boats in Custody

PCHR

Ref: 31/2016 
Rajab Khalid Rajab Abu Riyalah (30)
Rajab Khalid Rajab Abu Riyalah (30)
On Tuesday, 31 May 2016, Israeli navy forces opened fire at 5 fishermen on board of two fishing boats and wounded 2 of them, after which, Israeli navy forces arrested the 5 fishermen and confiscated their two boats. Israeli navy forces did not offer the medical aid for one of the wounded fishermen, who was hit with a live bullet to the right knee. On the same day, Israeli forces released the five fishermen, while the two boats have been still in custody in Ashdod Seaport. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Israeli attacks against fishermen and their property in the Gaza Strip Sea and calls upon the international community to intervene to protect the Palestinian fishermen and stop violations and direct attacks practiced against them and their property.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 06:50 on Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 3 fishing boats were sailing within 3 nautical miles offshore, southwest of the Gaza City, on board of which were 7 fishermen. A fisherman stated that he saw two Israeli gunboats quickly approaching their boats, therefore, the fishermen attempted to flee to the shore for fear of being arrested or for their boats to be confiscated. However, they were surprised by heavy fire at them. As a result, Rajab Khalid Rajab Abu Riyalah (30) was hit with a live bullet to the right knee, while his brother Khalid, who was on board of the same boat, was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the abdomen. Israeli forces arrested the two wounded fishermen in addition to the three others, who were identified as Hasan Mohamed Ibrahim Miqdad (31) and his brother Mohamed (29) and Mohamed Bashir Sha’ban Abu Riyalah (21) after forcing them to take off their clothes. The Israeli navy forces pulled the 2 boats to Ashdod Seaport. A third fishing boat manned by 2 fishermen fled to the shore. The 2 wounded fishermen received first aid, while although Rajab Abu Riyalah was referred to Barzilai Medical Center and stayed there for 6 hours, the bullet remained in his knee. The 5 fishermen were released at approximately 19:00 on the same day, but the 2 boats remained in the Israeli custody.
Rajab Khaled Rajab Abu Riyala (30) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that once he was admitted to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, he underwent a surgery to take the bullet out of his knee. It should be noted that Abu Riyala has been at the hospital.
PCHR strongly condemns the new Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen and their property, arrests, opening gunfire at them without offering first aid, confiscation of fishing boats and other property. PCHR also considers these attack as a grave violation of the fishermen’s right to sail and fish freely and to protect their property in the Gaza waters.  Moreover, PCHR believes that such attacks against Palestinian fishermen constitute a form of collective punishment against them which aims to target fishermen and their livelihood. Furthermore, PCHR calls upon the international community to provide protection for Palestinian fishermen and their right to sail and fish freely, and to stop all forms of collective punishment against fishermen and their property which violate the international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
وim on the, Rajab Khalid Rajab Abu Riyalah (30) was hit with a live bullet to the knee, while his brother, Khalid who was accomp

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast

April 26, 2016 8:16 P.M. (Updated: April 27, 2016 2:09 P.M.)


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the Gaza fishermen committee said.
The head of the Gaza fishermen committee, Zakariya Bakr, told Ma'an that Israeli naval forces opened fire at fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.Bakr added that Israeli forces then detained fishermen Aahed Ziyad Zayid and Munis al-Abed Zayid and confiscated their boats before taking them to an unknown location.No injuries were reported in the incident, Bakr said.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports.Earlier on Tuesday, witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli naval forces fired live ammunition at fishermen working off the coast of al-Zahra area of central Gaza, without causing any injuries.The Israeli military enters Palestinian areas on both land and sea sides of the Gaza Strip on a near-daily basis, often putting Palestinian fishermen and farmers -- and their livelihoods -- at risk.While Israeli authorities this month expanded the fishing zone designated for Palestinian fishermen to nine nautical miles in the southern Gaza Strip, and retained the six mile zone in the north, fishermen regularly report detentions, live fire, and boat confiscation within these limits.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has documented over 40 instances of Israeli incursions into the Gaza border area this month alone.

Israeli forces open fire on fishermen, level land in Gaza

April 26, 2016 10:22 A.M. (Updated: April 26, 2016 4:22 P.M.)


GAZA (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip as military forces leveled Palestinian land on the borderline with Israel, locals said.
Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli naval forces fired live ammunition at fishermen working off the coast of al-Zahra area of central Gaza. No injuries were reported.In the eastern area of the besieged enclave, locals said Israeli bulldozers entered Palestinian land near al-Shujaiyya and leveled the area.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports.The Israeli military enters Palestinian areas on both land and sea sides of the Gaza Strip on a near-daily basis, often putting Palestinian fishermen and farmers -- and their livelihoods -- at risk.While Israeli authorities this month expanded the fishing zone designated for Palestinian fishermen to nine nautical miles in the southern Gaza Strip, and retained the six mile zone in the north, fishermen regularly report detentions, live fire, and boat confiscation within these limits.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has documented over 40 instances of Israeli incursions into the Gaza border area this month alone.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinian fishermen off Gazan coast

April 24, 2016 1:00 P.M. (Updated: April 24, 2016 5:08 P.M.)

 
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces on Sunday morning detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip and seized their fishing boat, local sources told Ma'an.
Locals told Ma'an that Israeli naval forces opened fire on fishing boats, and detained Oranus al-Sultan and Ibrahim al-Sultan and took them to an unknown location. The sources added that Israeli forces seized fishing equipment and the boat.
As part of Israel's near-decade long blockade of the coastal enclave since 2007, Palestinian fishermen have been required to work within a limited "designated fishing zone" off the coast, which was recently extended to nine nautical miles.
Israeli forces regularly detain Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza working within the fishing zone, generally for alleged security reasons.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Israeli forces detained 71 fishermen and confiscated 22 fishing boats throughout 2015.
The center said that Israeli naval forces also opened fire on Palestinian fishermen at least 139 times over the course of the year, wounding 24 and damaging 16 fishing boats.
"These attacks occurred in a time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living," the center said.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Palestinian fisherman shot, 3 detained off Gaza coast

April 19, 2016 10:35 A.M. (Updated: April 19, 2016 5:35 P.M.)

AFP/File
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces shot and injured a Palestinian fisherman and detained three others off the coast Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip early Tuesday, sources saidHead of the fishermen’s union Nizar Ayyash told Ma’an the forces opened fire on the fishermen while they were working at sea within the nine-mile fishing zone designated by the Israeli authorities.The injured fisherman was released by the naval forces and taken to the hospital for medical treatment while three others were detained, Ayyash said.An Israeli spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports.Israel early this month loosened severe seaside restrictions on Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave, extending the military-enforced designated fishing zone by three nautical miles off the southern coast of the Gaza Strip.The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling blockade since 2007 and has enforced “buffer zone” along land and sea borders for alleged security purposes. The zone is generally enforced by live fire, putting the lives of both fishermen and farmers at risk on a near-daily basis, ultimately devastating agricultural and fishing sectors of the strip’s already-withered economy.While Israel typically cites security concerns when targeting Palestinian fishermen, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights has reported in the past that fishermen are often targeted when they pose no threat.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

IDF fires on Gaza fishermen despite expanded fishing zone

 972mag.com

One Palestinian fisherman is reportedly wounded by Israeli navy fire, four are arrested and their boats seized. The size of the zone where Israel allows Gazans to fish changes at the whims of Israeli military commanders and politicians, who have in the past openly discussed how they use it as collective punishment.

By Haggai Matar and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man

Fisherman reel in their nets off the shore of the Gaza Strip. File photo. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
Fisherman reel in their nets off the shore of the Gaza Strip. File photo. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
The Israeli navy opened fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip Saturday morning. No injuries were reported.

On Friday Israeli naval forces arrested four Palestinian fishermen off the southern Gaza coast. Israel released three of the four men Saturday morning. The fourth, who was reportedly wounded by naval gunfire, was expected to be released later in the day.

According to witnesses cited by both the Ma’an and Wafa news agencies, both incidents took place within the designated fishing zone.

Earlier this week the Israeli army expanded the area in which it permits Palestinians to fish from six to nine nautical miles off the coast. Palestinians are still not allowed to venture more than six nautical miles off the coast in the northern half of the Strip.

The limitations affect the amount and types of fish that can be caught, and results in overfishing within the permitted areas.

A Palestinian fisherman and his son sell their catch in the Gaza City fish market. File photo. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
A Palestinian fisherman and his son sell their catch in the Gaza City fish market. File photo. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
According to the Oslo Accords which created the systems that defined the mechanisms according to which the Israeli military rules Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Israel agreed to allow fishermen in Gaza to operate freely in a zone extending 20 nautical miles off the coast.

The Israeli army has not abided by that commitment for the past decade. Israeli authorities first shrunk the zone to 10 nautical miles, then three nautical miles. As part of a cease-fire agreement with Hamas after the 2014 Gaza war, however, Israel agreed to expand the zone to six nautical miles.
The size of the permitted fishing zone changes at the whim of Israeli military commanders and politicians, who have in the past openly discussed how they use it as collective punishment against civilians in response to rocket fire from armed groups. Sometimes Israeli naval forces simply announce via loudspeakers that they are reducing the size of the zone on a given day.

Palestinian fishermen regularly report that Israeli naval forces harass them, shoot at them, and seize their boats well within the authorized zone. Even when the army admits shooting Palestinian fishermen inside the zone, nobody is held accountable.

Illustrative photo of s sailor in the Israeli navy manning a machine gun. (IDF Spokesperson)
Illustrative photo of s sailor in the Israeli navy manning a machine gun. (IDF Spokesperson)
There were at least 139 incidents in which Israeli military forces fired on Palestinian fishermen in 2015, wounding at least 24 fishermen and damaging at least 16 fishing boats, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR). An additional six incidents involved artillery shells. The IDF arrested at least 71 fishermen and seized 22 boats in the same period.

Israel’s decade-old siege on the Gaza Strip, reinforced by Egypt, is enforced through a military blockade on Gaza’s land and sea borders, full control of the Strip’s airspace and the destruction of its only airport. Despite the fact that Israel pulled its troops out of Gaza in 2005 the army still controls the Strip’s currency (the new Israeli shekel), the population registry, large parts of the electricity and water grids, all imports and exports, and decides who may enter and exit through the only regularly open passenger border crossing.

Furthermore, the Israeli army still controls movement inside the Gaza Strip. Israeli troops maintain a no-go zone several hundred meters from the border fence. Palestinian farmers and protesters who enter the no-go zone, which comprises a significant portion of Gaza’s arable land, are regularly fired upon and sometimes killed.

Earlier this year +972 revealed that the army had begun spraying herbicides and germination inhibitors inside the Gaza Strip, damaging some 420 acres of Palestinian-owned crops. The army also regularly enters the Gaza Strip in order to clear brush and other obstacles to its line of sight which it claims Palestinian militants can use to launch attacks against Israeli troops.

The Israeli army also restricts the cellular internet speeds residents of the Gaza Strip may enjoy. The army decides with whom Gaza businesses may conduct trade, including whether they can trade with other Palestinians in the West Bank, what goods they may trade, and every other aspect of imports and exports.

A shorter version of this article first appeared in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast

April 8, 2016 12:43 A.M. (Updated: April 8, 2016 12:43 A.M.)


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces on Thursday detained two Palestinian fishermen off the Gazan coast for allegedly heading beyond the designated nine-nautical-mile fishing zone.
Amjad al-Sharafi, an official with the fishermen's union, told Ma'an that Israeli boats detained the fishermen, identified as Iyad Allun and Raed Abu Odeh, off the coast of Khan Younis and left their boat drifting at sea before it was towed back to shore by other fishermen. 
Israeli forces regularly detain Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza claiming they went beyond the designated fishing zone, which was recently extended from six to nine nautical miles.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Israeli forces detained 71 fishermen and confiscated 22 fishing boats throughout 2015.
The center said that Israeli naval forces also opened fire on Palestinian fishermen at least 139 times over the course of the year, wounding 24 and damaging 16 fishing boats.
"These attacks occurred in a time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living," the center said.