The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the Israeli authorities’ decision to decrease the fishing area to 6 nautical miles off the area from the Gaza Valley to Rafah City in the south. According to the Israeli decision, the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip are banned from sailing and fishing freely and denied them access to the areas where fish breed.
Nizar ‘Ayash, Head of the General Union of Fishing Workers in the Gaza Strip, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that on Monday, 11 December 2017, the Israeli authorities informed the Palestinian Civil Affairs Authority of decreasing the fishing area to 6 nautical miles from the Gaza Valley to Rafah City in the south.
This decision will enter into force at 15:00 on Tuesday, 12 December 2017, restricting fishermen and their movement in the Gaza Waters. It should be mentioned that the Israeli authorities previously allowed the Palestinian fishermen to sail up to 9 nautical miles in the above-mentioned area on 03 May 2017.
PCHR emphasizes that the Israeli decision against Palestinian fishermen is in violation of the right to work according to Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Thus, PCHR:
- Calls upon the Israeli authorities to reverse immediately the decision of decreasing the fishing area and to enable fishermen to fish and sail freely, especially that they do not pose threat to the Israel authorities; and
- Calls upon the international community to pressurize the Israeli authorities into ending the naval blockade, which led to the deterioration of the fishermen and their families’ living conditions, and stopping all violations against the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.