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Israeli Occupation Forces Attack Palestinian Fishermen

July 2, 2012

Sunday, August 26. 2007

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reports:

Israeli Occupation Forces Attack Palestinian Fishermen

PCHR strongly condemns the escalation in attack by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Palestinian fishermen and their boats. On Wednesday morning, 22 June 2007, IOF attacked Palestinian fishing boats opposite to Rafah seashore, damaging 7 of them, and arrested 8 fishermen. A number of houses in the Swedish Village, nearly 200 meters away from the beach were also damaged.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 08:30 on Wednesday, 22 August 2007, while a number of Palestinian fishermen were on 12 small boats on their way back to Rafah beach after a fishing trip, they were surprised by 4 IOF gunboats and 2 helicopter gunships, chasing them. The gunboats and helicopter gunships opened fire at the boats, so fishermen were forced to jump into water and swim towards the beach. As a result of the attack, 7 fishing boats were damaged, and IOF arrested 8 fishermen who were on 4 boats:

  • 1. Kamel Rajab Abu Ouda, 47;
  • 2. Eyad Bassem Abu Saleema, 17;
  • 3. Abdul Rahman Abdul Hadi al-Qun, 15;
  • 4. Ahmed Mohammed al-Najjar, 24;
  • 5. Mohammed Faraht Ashour, 16;
  • 6. Khalil Kamel Abu Ouda, 17;
  • 7. Ali Hasan al-Najjar, 17; and
  • 8. Yousef Abdullah al-Najjar, 17.

IOF released these fishermen at approximately 22:30 after interrogating them. Sixteen fishermen were able to escape towards houses in the neighboring Swedish Village. IOF fired at them, damaging a number of houses and terrifying residents of the village.

In his testimony to PCHR, Ziad Abdul Karim Miqdad, 36, a fisherman from the Swedish Village in Rafah, stated:

At approximately 02:00 on Wednesday, 22 August 2007, I went fishing together with my brother Abdullah, 20, on a small boat. We were accompanied by 11 fishing boats. At approximately 08:30, while we were sailing back to the beach, we noticed that 4 Israeli gunboats and 2 helicopter gunships were chasing us. They opened fire at us. We jumped into the water and swam towards the beach. They continued to fire at us for nearly an hour. A number of houses in our village and 7 boats were damaged. I learnt later that Israeli naval forces arrested 8 fishermen.

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing in the Gaza Strip. IOF have repeatedly prevented fishing and attacked fishermen and their boats. They have fired at fishermen and destroyed or confiscated fishing boats. Since the beginning of the current Palestinian Intifada, a number of fishermen have been wounded and at least 70 ones have been arrested by IOF. At approximately 35,000 people in and around Gazas coastal communities rely on the fishing industry.

In a previous attack, on 15 August 2007, IOF fired at a number of fishing beats opposite to Rafah seashore and arrested 2 Palestinian fishermen: Fadel Musallam Shallouf, 25; and Mohammed Ouda Shallouf, 23. IOF interrogated the two fishermen and released them 3 hours later.

PCHR strongly condemns repeated attacks by IOF against Palestinian fishermen, and calls upon the international community to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians and stop all attacks that aim at depriving them of their means of subsistence.

Friends of Al Aqsa is a voluntary organisation concerned with the defence of
Al Aqsa Haram Sharif and the protection of Palestinian Human Rights.
P.O. Box 5127, Leicester. LE2 0WU. England.
Tel 077 11 823 524
Fax ++ 44 [116] 253 7575


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