Israeli naval forces fired their weapons at the fishing boats operating off the coast of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, causing damage to their property on Saturday morning, September 9, 2023.
Zakaria Bakr, the coordinator of the Union of Fishermen’s Committees in Gaza, stated that Israeli naval boats opened fire on the fishermen’s boats in the sea off Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, pursuing them at a distance of 2 to 3 miles.
He added that the attack resulted in damage to the engine of a boat owned by the Abu Riyala family and the loss of many fishing nets. Bakr pointed out that Israel has escalated its violations against fishermen since the beginning of September.
Zakaria Bakr condemned the ongoing targeting of Palestinian fishermen, often at close range from the shore.
Around 4,500 fishermen in Gaza are urging for international protection, an end to the maritime blockade, the ability to acquire fishing equipment and boat engines, and the cessation of restrictions on permitted fishing zones.
Since 2006, the Israeli air, land, and sea blockade has prohibited Palestinian fishermen in Gaza from purchasing essential materials for boat repairs, including motors, propellers, fiberglass, and more.
Fishermen consistently appeal to international and human rights organizations to exert pressure on the Israeli occupation to halt their infringements.
They are seeking support and stability in their livelihoods, especially in light of the worsening economic conditions impacting Gaza’s residents.
Despite the Israeli occupation forces’ withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2006, Israel still maintains control over all aspects of Palestinian life in the besieged territory.