File photo: Gaza fisherman is intercepted by Israeli Naval Forces

Gaz: Israeli Naval Forces arrest 4 fishermen, detain fishing boat 

 PNN/ GAza/  

On Sunday, 15 October 2017, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing off al-Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia. An Israeli gunboat then surrounded 2 fishing boats, and the Israeli navy soldiers arrested 4 fishermen and detained a fishing boat. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has monitored the escalation of Israeli attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, indicating the Israeli ongoing policy to target fishermen and their livelihood.

According to PCHR’s investigation, at approximately 05:30 on Sunday, 15 October 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. They surrounded a fishing boat sailing 500 meters offshore belonging to ‘Adnan Mohammed al-Sultan from al-‘Atatrah neighborhood in Beit Lahia. The boat was manned by ‘Adnan’s sons, Fou’ad (25) and Mahmoud (18). The Israeli naval soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. The fishermen were then arrested and taken to an unknown destination.

In another incident, at approximately 06:00 on the same day, an Israeli gunboat surrounded and opened fire at a fishing boat sailing 500 meters offshore belonging to Diab Mohammed al-Sultan from al-‘Atatrah neighborhood in Beit Lahia. The boat was manned by Tareq Abdul Bari al-Sultan (22) and Mohammed Yaseen Zayed (23), both from al-Salateen neighborhood. The Israeli naval soldiers ordered the fishermen totake off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. The fishermen were then arrested and taken to an unknown destination. The Israeli forces also detained the fishing boat and confiscated 8 fishing nets.

PCHR strongly condemned the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and called for immediately ending Israeli violations against fishermen and allowing them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea, releasing the fishermen arrested by the Israeli authorities, ensuring remedy for victims of Israeli violations for the physical and material damage; and called upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to intervene to stop all Israeli violations against fishermen and allow them to fish freely in the Gaza Sea.