Israeli Naval Forces continued its attacks on Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza waters, under the continued Israeli restrictions on fishermens’ freedom to work and banning their access to areas rich with fish, all while fishermen do not pose any threat to the Israeli naval forces stationed in Gaza waters, which is a violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)’s investigations, at approximately 09:30 on Tuesday, 21 April 2020, Israeli naval forces stationed at Gaza sea, northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats while the latter sailed at 3 nautical miles. Israeli forces opened fire at the fishing boats, damaging the engine of Fahed Zeyad Hassan Baker’s (43) boat; the forces surrounded the fishing boat and continued to fire at it for at least 10 minutes before withdrawing. Fishermen were able to pull the boat into the seaport, where Zeyad Fahed Baker (25), the son of the boat’s owner, was found wounded with a rubber bullet in his head. Baker was transferred to al-Shifa Hospital, and medical sources indicated that his injury was minor.
In a separate incident, at approximately 13:30 on Saturday, 18 April 2020, Israeli naval forces stationed northwest of Gaza city waters, chased Palestinian fishing boats while the latter sailed at 4 nautical miles and opened fire at them, damaging the boat’s engine. The boat is the property of Ahmed Ahmed Hasan Zaydan (29) and it sustained several bullets that caused damaged.
PCHR condemns the continued Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza sea, and calls upon the international community, including the State Parties to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to force Israeli authorities to cease attacks and persecution of Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza waters, and to allow fishermen to fish freely. Additionally, PCHR calls upon Israeli authorities to compensate fishermen for their losses caused by the continued Israeli attacks.