The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the continued Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea that constitute a blatant violation of all international conventions and instruments, harming their livelihood and exacerbating their economic and social conditions.
According to PCHR’s follow-up, at approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 15 August 2023, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and surrounded one belonging to fisherman, Ra’fat “Mohammed ‘Ali” Yousef al-Sultan (53), who was on board with his nephew, Mohammed Rafeeq “Mohammed ‘Ali” al-Sultan (22), from Beit Lahia.
They were sailing within 1 nautical mile when Israeli naval forces ordered them to take off their clothes, jump into the sea and swim towards the gunboat. They were then arrested and taken to Ashdod Seaport while their fishing boat and equipment were confiscated.
It is noteworthy that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) restrict Palestinian fishermen’s work and allow them to sail only within 6 to 12 nautical miles in the western Gaza Strip.
Since the beginning of 2023, PCHR has documented the injury of 13 fishermen, arrest of 21 others, including a child, confiscation of 6 fishing boats and damage inflicted to 4 other boats.
- PCHR emphasizes that the Israeli practices against the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip constitute a grave breach of all international conventions and instruments, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
- PCHR reiterates its call on the international community, including the States Parties to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to obligate the Israeli occupation authorities to cease attacks and pursuit of Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza waters, allow fishermen to fish freely, release the fishermen detained in the Israeli prisons, compensate all fishermen for the losses incurred due to the continued Israeli attacks and release the fishing boats and equipment in IOF’s custody.