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
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