Days of Palestine – Gaza
The Ministry of Interior and National Security in Gaza revealed the circumstances of the martyrdom of the three fishermen on the 3rd of March 2021, in the sea of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, Iyad Al-Bazom, said that since the three fishermen were killed, the ministry had followed the incident, and a committee was formed from the ministry’s specialized agencies and the relevant bodies in the Palestinian resistance to investigate facts and determine the circumstances of the martyrdom of fishermen.
Al-Bazom indicated that his ministry developed the investigation committee all the expected hypotheses for the accident, and began collecting evidence and witness testimonies, and the hypotheses were as follows:
The first hypothesis: the experimental missiles fired by the Palestinian resistance, which coincided with the accident of the boat.
The second hypothesis: the direct targeting of the boat by the Israeli occupation.
The third hypothesis: an accidental explosion in the boat of a suspicious object inside the sea from the remnants of the Israeli occupation.
Al-Bazom confirmed that the investigation committee conducted a thorough study of the three hypotheses, as the experimental missiles launch pad and the missile guidance were inspected, as well as directing the Palestinian naval force to collect all evidence from the location of the accident at sea and hear the testimonies of fishermen, in addition to the forensic report on examining the bodies of the three martyrs.
He added that by inspecting the experimental missile launch platform, the coordinates of its fall, reviewing the cameras of the resistance observatories, and making sure of the exact launch and receipt times, it became clear that the site of the explosion of the three fishermen's boat was completely outside the range of the missile firing range.
He said that by listening to the testimonies of fishermen and the Maritime Police Force and reviewing the cameras of the resistance observatories, the hypothesis that the Israeli occupation had targeted the boat or bombed it directly at the time of the accident was ruled out.
He added that it was confirmed to the committee that the explosion is related to a previous security event that occurred on Monday, February 22, in the width of Khan Yunis, close to the site of the explosion of the fishermen's boat, where the Israeli occupation attacked at the time a force belonging to the Palestinian Resistance, and during the attack, quadcopters carrying high-explosive devices were used.
He mentioned that two fishermen found an Israeli quadcopter caught in their nets while fishing near the site of the explosion, half an hour before the incident, and extracted and handed it over to the Maritime Police.
He continued that after extracting the remaining rear part of the fishing boat, and some other parts, it became clear that the explosion came from the lower right side of the boat by another Israeli quadcopter.
He added that when inspecting the intact quadcopter that was recovered by the fishermen, it was found that it had an explosive device attached to it, and the helicopter was preserved.
Al-Bazom explained that from the forensic report of the bodies of the three martyrs, it was found that they died as a result of the severe explosive shock of a non-fragmentation device, as no metal fragments were found in their bodies, which confirms that the explosion was caused by a device similar to the one carried by the Israeli quadcopter.
Al-Bazom asserted that the three fishermen from the Al-Lahham family (Muhammad, Zakaria, and Yahya) were died due to the explosion of a high-explosive device attached to a “Quadcopter” belonging to the Israeli occupation, which got stuck in their nets and exploded while they were extracting nets.
The Interior Ministry spokesman held the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the killing of the three fishermen on March 7, 2021, in Khan Yunis sea, south of the Gaza Strip.
He called on local and international human rights institutions to stand up to their responsibilities in pursuing the Israeli occupation in international courts for its crimes committed against the Palestinian people, the most recent of which is the crime of martyrdom of the three fishermen.
He noted that his ministry briefed a delegation of heads of human rights institutions in Gaza on the results of the investigations it reached into the death of the three fishermen, in addition to informing them of all evidence confirming the occupation’s responsibility for this crime.
He called on international institutions and bodies to work to provide protection for Palestinian fishermen in the sea of the Gaza Strip, who are constantly exposed to the attacks and violations of the Israeli occupation.