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Israel will not return body of murdered fisherman to hide its crime, father says

Bullet holes can be seen following the Israeli attack on a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of Gaza on 25 February 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli occupation authorities prevent the return of the body of a Palestinian fisherman murdered while fishing off the Gaza coast on Sunday in order to "hide its crime", his father told Quds Press yesterday.

On Sunday, the Israeli occupation navy shot dead the Palestinian fisherman Ismail Abu-Riyaleh, 18, and wounded two of his relatives, who were aboard of the fishing boat.

The Israeli navy captured Abu-Riyaleh's body.

His father, Saleh, accused the Israeli occupation authorities of "committing a crime" against his son.

"Continuous blocking of the body of my son means that the Israeli occupation carried out three crimes against him: murder and cold-blooded killing, blocking the body and trying to hide the proof of its crime," the father said.

Read: Palestinian fisherman dies of wounds in Gaza

He called for local and international rights groups to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to release the body of his son "before it is placed in the number cemeteries, where bodies of hundreds of Palestinian martyrs are hidden."

Coordinator of the committee that documents Israel violations against Gaza fishermen, Zakaria Baker, confirmed that the Israeli occupation blocks the return of bodies "in order to hide its crime". In this case it is because Ismail "was shot from a very close distance".

He also said: "The Israeli occupation authorities do not want the crime to get large media coverage in case of handing over the body."

Israel regularly targets Palestinian fishermen who operate well within Gaza's marine borders.

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