Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A day at sea with Gaza’s fishermen

by Lydia de Leeuw
26 November 2011 | A Second Glance

Israeli occupation navy forces harassing fishermen

Israeli occupation navy forces harassing fishermen (Photo: Lydia de Leeuw, A Second Glance) - Click here for more images
Updated on November 30, 2011

IOF Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen Continue Al Mezan Condemns the IOF Arrest of 11 Fishermen and Calls on International Community to End Israel’s Violations


Al Mezan 


The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue to attack Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip where fishing is restricted to three nautical miles. At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 29 November 2011, IOF vessels patrolling the Gaza Sea opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast opposite the district of Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli vessels then moved towards three of the fishing boats, surrounded them and arrested eleven fishermen who were on board the boats. The IOF took the fishermen and two boats northwards to Ashdod harbour. The IOF later released one of the fishermen and one boat.
According to the information available to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, the IOF arrested four fishermen who were on a boat belonging to Yousif Mohammed Abu Odeh. They released one immediately but the other three were detained in Israel. Al Mezan identified the names of the detained fishermen who were on this boat as follows:
·         Khalid Khader Abu Shar, 19;
·         Raed Yousif Abu Odeh, 28; and
·         Osama Mohammed Al Hissi, 30.
Al Mezan identified the name of the released fisherman as Faraj Abu Odeh. The IOF also arrested four fishermen who were on the boat of Khalid Al Habeel. Al Mezan identified their names as follows:
·         Adham Khalid Al Habeel, 25;
·         Saleem Ameen Abu As-Sadeq, 48;
·         Rami Bahjat Abu Odeh, 30; and
·         Mu’men Saleem Abu As-Sadeq, 17.
The IOF released all the fishermen at dawn on 30 November 2011, however, the two boats remain in IOF custody.
Al Mezan points out that the IOF assaults on Palestinian fishermen have been on the increase in recent months. The IOF has launched attacks on fishing boats, including artillery attacks. Many fishermen have been detained along with their boats by the IOF. While the IOF enforces a three-nautical-mile zone in which fishing activities are permitted, attacks on fishermen continue to take place within this zone, including in situations where fishermen do not pose any threat to the occupation forces in the sea.
On 28 November 2011, the IOF arrested two fishermen, Mahmoud Yasser An-Nahal, 20, and Mohammed Khamis Killab, 19. An-Nahal was released in a few hours, while Killab has remained in Israeli detention. Al Mezan’s lawyer, who represents Killab, has not been able to visit him yet.
Al Mezan’s monitoring indicates that since the beginning of 2011, the IOF has arrested 40 fishermen, confiscated 9 fishing boats and injured 5 fishermen. The IOF has launched 49 attacks at fishing boats and caused damage to fishing nets and equipment in 5 incidents during the same period.
Al Mezan strongly condemns the IOF’s escalation of assaults on Palestinian fishermen, which put their lives and safety at risk. The IOF’s detention of fishermen is always carried out in a way that injures their dignity and is in violation of the prohibitions on torture and cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment. Al Mezan calls on the international community to make effective interventions to bring these violations of Palestinian fishermen’s rights to an end, especially IOF violence and ill treatment. Al Mezan calls for a full lifting on the restrictions imposed on fishing activities in Gaza. Israel must act in compliance with its obligations as an occupying power and refrain from attacking civilians and/or restricting their access to livelihoods.
Attacks on civilians must be investigated without delay in order to hold those responsible for violations accountable and to secure victims’ right to redress.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Israeli naval forces detain Gaza fishermen

Fishermen pictured off Gaza's coast. (MaanImages/file)

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained eight fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip and took them to an unknown destination, a Palestinian union official said Tuesday.

Mahfouz al-Kabarety, head of the Palestinian society for fishing and marine sports, said the navy seized two fishing boats on which the fishermen were operating off the coast.

The fishermen were identified as Raed Abu Odeh, Usama al-Hassi, Jamal al-Hassi, Muhammad al-Hassi, Adham al-Habil, Salim As-Sadeq, Momen al-Sadeq, Bahjat Abu Odeh.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed taking several men into custody.

She said a boat "deviated from a designated fishing area" off the Gaza coast, and was instructed to reverse course by naval forces in the area. The boat failed to comply with the instructions, she said.

The men were taken into custody at the Ashdod port, the official said.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Israeli navy hunts Gaza fishermen

24 November 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza

Video of our international human rights observation boat outrunning the Israeli navy as it attempts to fire a watercannon on Palestinian fishing boats under 3 miles out to sea.
Publicly, Israel ‘allows’ fishermen in Gaza 3 miles in which to make a living. Today, as happens on most days they attacked 5 fishing boats at around 2.5 miles out, pursuing them until we were well under 2 miles away from the Gaza shore. For once, this regular occurrence was caught on camera.
For the first time in our boat’s history, we managed to escape.
This is what happened last time I was in this position.
Updated on November 26, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Israeli Gunboats Fire on Palestinian Fishing Boats in Khan Younis Twice


At approximately 11:30 on Tuesday, 22 November 2011, Israeli naval vessels patrolling the Gaza Sea opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Khan Younis.
At approximately 08:00 the following day, the IOF opened fire again at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Khan Younis. The firing scared the fishermen on the boats and they sailed to land immediately. No casualties or injuries were reported.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Israeli Gunboats Fire on Palestinian Fishing Boats in North Gaza District


At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 21 November 2011, Israeli naval vessels patrolling the Gaza sea opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of As-Sudaniya, west of Jabaliya in North Gaza district. The firing scared the fishermen on the boats and they sailed to land immediately. No casualties or injuries were reported

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Israeli navy kidnaps two Palestinian children and uncle fishing in Gazan waters

by Radhika S.
12 November 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza

Mohamed and Abdul Qader Baker - Click here for more images
Seventeen-year-old Abdul Qader Baker still has no idea why the Israeli navy surrounded his small fishing boat at 4 a.m. Thursday morning, ordered him, his 17-year-old cousin Mohamed Baker, and his uncle, Arafat Baker, to strip off their clothes, stand shivering in their underwear for an hour and a half and ultimately forced the group to Ashod.  The two high school students were released approximately twelve hours later, but their uncle remains in Israeli detention.
“I was so scared and it was so cold,” Abdul Qader reported.  After the Israeli navy ordered the group to take off their clothes, Abdul Qader stated that “for two hours I had to stand, not moving, while [Israeli] snipers pointed their guns at me.”
Abdul Qader and Mohamed are in the twelfth grade, and often help their families fish when there’s a school holiday, as was the case on Thursday.  According to Abdul Qader,“[w]e went to retrieve the nets we had dropped and then suddenly I saw the Israeli gun boat in front of us, shining a big light into our boat.”
While the Israeli navy forced Mohamed and Arafat to jump into the sea, and swim towards the warship, Abdul Qader was told he could retrieve his fishing net and go home.  “But when I started taking up the net, the Israelis opened fire and told me to leave the net and jump in the water.”
On the gunboat, Mohamed and Abdul Qader reported being blindfolded until they reached the port of Ashdod.   “They took me to the harbor and when they removed my blindfold, I saw 40 soldiers. I was afraid and terrified,” added Mohamed. At Ashod, Mohamed was examined by a doctor, while an Israeli soldier photographed him.
Israeli authorities subsequently placed metal cuffs on the hands and feet of the two boys and eventually transferred them to Erez where they interrogated them for several hours.
At Erez, Israeli soldiers placed Mohamed and Abdul Qader in separate rooms and showed them various maps of Gaza, asking them to identify their houses and the names of their uncles and brothers.  The Israelis also asked both boys to identify Hamas training locations, where Hamas people lived, were asked about a monument to the 9 Turks killed by the Israeli navy on the Mavi Marmara in 2010, whether the prisoners released in the recent exchange were staying at a particular hotel in Gaza City, and about open spaces used for a playground and a fish farm.
Israeli authorities released the boys at around 5 p.m. Their uncle, 28-year-old Arafat Baker, is still detained.  “I have no idea why they arrested me,” said Abdul Qader. “I didn’t cross the 3-mile line,” he added referring to the fishing limit Israel has imposed on Palestinian fishermen in Gaza.  “The Israelis are criminals. This is no way to treat human beings. It took me hours to stand on my feet [because of the cold], I couldn’t move my leg.”  Abdul Qader added,“I don’t know yet if I will go fishing again. I need time to mentally recover from this.”
Abdul Qader’s right side and chest still hurt due to hours of standing in the cold and being forced into the sea. Israeli authorities did not permit the boys to call their families or an attorney, nor did they ever tell the boys why they had been detained or what laws they were alleged to have violated.

Updated on November 13, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Israeli Navy Kidnaps Three Fishermen

Thursday November 10, 2011 13:48 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The Israeli Navy kidnapped, on Thursday at dawn, three Palestinian fishermen, from the same family, west of the Fishermen Port, in Gaza.
Israeli Navi Attacking Fishermen in Gaza - File, Still from Al Jazeera
Israeli Navi Attacking Fishermen in Gaza - File, Still from Al Jazeera

Head of the Palestinian Committee for Fishing and Maritime Sports in the Gaza, Mahfouth Kabarity, reported that the Navy kidnapped the three fishermen while they were in the three miles allotted by Israel to the Palestinian fishermen.

There whereabouts and condition remains unknown until the time of this report.

The three were identified as Arafat Lutfi Bakr, 29, Mohammad Wisam Bakr, 17, and Abdul-Qader Wael Bakr, 17.

Israel repeatedly carried out attacks against Palestinian fishermen leading to dozens of casualties.

Last week, the Navy detained two Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip while fishing near Gaza shore.

Nizar Ayesh, head of the Palestinian fishermen trade union told Quds Press that an Israeli navy boat opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boats forcing them to stop, before kidnapping them

Ayesh added that Israeli assaults against Palestinian fishermen happens almost on daily basis, which causes a serious problem for fishermen who depend on fishing for their daily income.

There are around 3500 Palestinian fishermen officially registered in the Gaza Strip.

In 2006, Israel reduced the area where Palestinians fishermen are allow to fish to only three nautical miles.

Israel detains 3 fishermen off Gaza coast
Published yesterday (updated) 10/11/2011 16:41
Palestinian fisherman work on their boats in the port off Gaza City
(MaanImages/Hatem Omar, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained three fishermen off the coast of Gaza on Thursday morning, a local official told Ma'an.

Israeli troops detained Arafat Lutfi Baker, 29, Muhammad Wisam Baker, 17, and Abdul Qader Wael Baker, 17, and took them to an unknown destination, said Mahfouth Al-Kabarety, head of the Society for Fishing and Marine Sports.

An Israeli military spokesman said the fishermen "deviated from the designated fishing area."

"The Israeli navy called on the boat to return to the designated area and when the boat did not respond to their calls to stop it was taken to Ashdod and the boat's crew was transferred to the custody of the security forces," the army official told Ma'an.

Al-Kabarety said the men were fishing within the permitted area.

Under Israel's maritime blockade, Palestinian fishers are forbidden from fishing more than three nautical miles from the coast.

During the Oslo accords negotiators had agreed on 20 nautical miles of fishing access along Gaza's coastline.

In September, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights expressed concern over the dramatic rise in the number and form of attacks on Palestinian fishermen.

Between January and September, PCHR documented 38 cases of Israeli naval forces shooting at fishermen, and 19 cases in which boats and tools were confiscated and damaged.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

PCHR weekly report 27/10 - 2/11/2011: 2 fishermen abducted, 1 boat stolen, 1 boat damaged by gunfire

extracts from PCHR weekly report 27/10 - 2/11/2011:

The Israeli Navy has continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli naval troops arrested two Palestinian fishermen. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Also at approximately 03:30, Israeli gunboats stationed opposite to Khan Yunis beach in the south of the Gaza Strip arrested two Palestinian fishermen: Ahmed ‘Omar Rannira, 21; and Mousa Ibrahim Abu Jayab, 42, both from Deir al-Balah.  They also confiscated the fishing boat. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

At approximately 02:00, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a small fishing boat belonging to ‘Eissa Ramdan Abu ‘Amira, 52, which was sailing nearly 3 nautical miles off Gaza seashore.  The boat was heavily damaged, but no casualties were reported.