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Israeli navy attack Gaza fishermen

December 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Palestinian fishermen in Gaza City, Gaza [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli navy opened fire on Palestinian fishermen boats in Khan Yunis in the southern part of the Gaza Strip today during the early hours of this morning.

The fishermen were targeted within the area they were permitted to fish. No injuries have been reported.

The Israeli navy carry out regular attacks on fishermen during their work in the Gaza Sea. A recent human rights report confirmed that 85 per cent of fishermen in the Gaza Strip were exposed to such violations.

Israeli authorities have long imposed unilateral restrictions on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, which are routinely enforced with violent attacks by naval vessels.

The Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza has reported on how organised violations against Palestinian fishermen impact the economy.

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Systematic violations, which have continued for nearly two decades, come in the context of tightening the siege and inflicting collective punishment on Palestinian civilians, which violates the rules of international humanitarian law.

Under the Oslo Accords signed in 1993 Israel is obligated to permit fishing up to 20 nautical miles, but this has never been implemented. Overfishing in a small area over the years has decreased the number of fish.

In May the Israeli army said the fishing zone was cut to 10 nautical miles, down from 15, after arson balloons were launched from Gaza into Israel.

Palestinian officials say Israeli naval forces frequently open fire on Gazan fishermen on the pretext that they are fishing outside the designated zone.

The profession has been deemed dangerous by rights organisations due to Israel’s harassment of fishermen at sea.

According to the Palestinian Fishermen’s Association in Gaza, there are some 4,000 fishermen working in Gaza’s fishing sector, who are looking after about 50,000 dependents.

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