Tuesday, 24 December 2013 00:00
Israeli Naval Forces stationed off Beit Lahia shore in the northern Gaza Strip confiscated a Palestinian fishing boat anchored at approximately 5 nautical miles off al-Wahah shore in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip the area, and then pulled it. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the continued targeting of fishermen and their livelihoods. Economic and social rights of fishermen have been violated by the illegal naval blockade imposed by Israeli authorities on the Gaza waters since June 2007.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 12:15 on Tuesday, 23 December 2013, a group of Palestinian fishermen, who were sailing on a boat, saw an Israeli gunboat accompanied with two small rubber boats boarded by Israeli naval forces heading to a Palestinian boat anchored in the sea at approximately 5 nautical miles off al-Wahah shore in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. One of the fishermen said that he saw the Israeli forces pulling the Palestinian boat belonging to ‘Adel Sa’id Mohammed Abu Ryalah (41) from Shati’a refugee camp in Gaza City. They then headed to the north to the Israeli waters. ‘Adel Abu Ryalah said to a PCHR fieldworker that at approximately 15:00 on Monday, 22 December 2013, he sailed his boat, which holds license no. 12385, and went with a number of boats to al-Wahah shore in Beit Lahia. They arrived at approximately 5 nautical miles. He added that he anchored the boat, which has no engine and 2 generators, 5 searchlights, and two paddles on board, in the waters. He then left the sea on another boat. He said that after the recent storm, he is used to leaving daily the boat and coming back in the next day as he used it for bringing fish. Abu Ryalah also said that on Tuesday he sailed to the same area, where his boat was anchored, as he knew from fishermen, who were on the board of another boat, that the Israeli naval forces confiscated his boat.
PCHR condemns the continued Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and:
1. Calls for immediately stopping the policy of chasing and arresting Palestinian fishermen, and allowing them to sail and fish freely;
2. Demands compensation for the fishermen for the physical and material damage caused to them and their property as a result of these violations;
3. Calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to immediately intervene to stop the Israeli violations against the Palestinian fishermen and to allow them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea.