A Palestinian fisherman, along with his son, were shot and injured by Israeli naval forces, off the northwestern coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Friday.
Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Zakariya Bakr, told Ma’an News Agency that the Israeli navy targeted a number of Palestinian fishing boats and opened heavy fire towards them, injuring one fisherman and his son.
Bakr identified the injured as Muhammad Saad Bakr and his son Mahmoud.
Bakr mentioned that Muhammad and his son were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets; however, their medical condition remained unknown.
Bakr added that the Israeli navy repeatedly fired live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets.
In addition, the fishing boat suffered major material damages as a result of the Israeli navy shooting at the outboard engine.
According to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israelâ€™s blockade of the coastal enclave has seriously undermined the ability for Gazan fishermen to make a living at sea.
The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the unilaterally declared buffer zone.
Israeli human rights group B’Tselem recently concluded that Israel’s Gaza closure and “harassment of fishermen” have been “destroying Gaza’s fishing sector,” with 95% of fishermen living below the poverty line.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.