Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats on Monday January 16, kidnapped five fishermen, confiscated two fishing boats in two separate incidents.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) noticed that Israeli forces have recently concentrated their attacks against fishermen in Gaza Sea, denying them access to their livelihood and free fishing in Gaza Sea.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately at 7:20am on Monday, 16 January 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off Al-Wahah Shore, west of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing only 700 meters offshore and then surrounded a boat belonging to Sharif Mohamed al-Sultan.
The boat was manned by his son Uranus, 20, and Mohammed Ghaleb Ramadan al-Sultan, 24. Both are from Al-Atatrah area in Beit Lahia.
The Israeli navy ordered the two fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. They were then dragged to the Israeli gunship and their boat was confiscated.
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In a separate incident, at approximately 11:20am, Israeli gunboats stationed off Al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within three nautical miles and then surrounded a boat belonging to Emad Mahmoud Sha’ban Siyam, 50.
The boat was manned by the owner, his son Anas, 21, and Mohamed Khaled Mohammed abu-Dayyah, 32. All of them are from Al-Shati’ Refugee Camp in Gaza City.
The Israeli navy ordered the three fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. They were then dragged to the gunboat while their boat was confiscated.
It worth to be mentioned that the Israeli occuaption released the three fishermen at approximately 6:30pm without their boat.
PCHR strongly condemned the continued Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and called for immediately ending the police chase of fishermen and allow them to sail and fish freely.
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In addition, the PCHR demanded compensation for victims of the Israeli violations for the physical and material damage and called upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Geneva Convention, to intervene to stop all Israeli violations against fishermen and their property and allow them to fish freely in Gaza Sea.