Monday, October 5, 2015

Israel detains 2 Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast

Oct. 5, 2015 12:12 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 5, 2015 12:12 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli naval forces on Monday detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, witnesses said. Israeli forces reportedly forced the fishermen to jump from their boat and swim to the Israeli naval boat, before taking them to shore. Israeli forces also seized the boat and took it to the Israeli port of Ashdod.An Israeli army spokeswoman did not immediately return respond when asked for comment.According to documentation by the Gaza fishing union, Israel’s navy has committed at least 1,370 assaults on fishermen since the signing of the July 2014 ceasefire agreement that ended Israel’s most recent military offensive.The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), found that the blockade has seriously undermined the ability of Gazan fishermen to make a living at sea.The difficulties have lead to a severe drop in those attempting to pursue the career. According to OCHA, the number of fishermen in Gaza has declined from about 10,000 in 2000, to only 3,500 in 2013 -- 95 percent of whom receive international aid to supplement their income.

Sami Ali El Goga – The Story of a Gazan Fisherman

ISM website

Sami Ali El Goga - fisherman who was attacked by the Israeli navy.
Sami Ali El Goga – fisherman who was attacked by the Israeli navy.

ISM Gaza met the fisherman Sami Ali El Goga, 36, who lost his hand and part of his arm the 12th March 2007, when he was attacked by the Israeli navy. In the same attack his boat was completely destroyed and his 13-year-old nephew, who was in the boat with him, sustained shrapnel wounds throughout his body.
Eight years later he is still waiting for the assistance promised by several international agencies, as he hasn’t been able to work since the attack, and without the boat a 20-member-family lost its source of income.
On that day, Sami and his nephew had just reached the 1.5 miles naval blockade when the zionist army approached and started shooting rockets towards them. They attempted to escape to the closest beach, as there was no chance to reach the port. Once on the beach the shooting didn’t stop. Whilst attempting to escape from the boat with his nephew, it was hit by a rocket and in the explosion Sami was severely injured. He nearly bled to death waiting for medical assistance as the Israeli navy prevented any recue from reaching him until 30 minutes later.
After 3 hospitals in Gaza weren’t able to treat him the Palestinian Authority mediated in order that he could be treated in a Hospital in the ‘48 territories (AKA Israel), as the occupation had previously refused to allow him to exit Gaza. The doctors there amputated his hand and afterwards he was taken by the zionist intelligence for an interrogation before sending him back to Gaza.
This wasn’t the first attack Sami suffered, as another boat from his family had been stolen by the occupation in the past.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

IOF seeking to empty the sea of Palestinian fishermen, PGFTU

PNN/ Gaza

Head of The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, Sami Al-Umsi on Monday said that the Israeli occupation’s naval forces are seeking to empty the sea of Palestinian fishermen through the policy of daily ongoing attacks.
In a statement, Al-Umsi denounced Israeli naval forces opening heavy fire on fishermen boats off the Khan Younis shores southern Gaza strip, adding that the attacks have been escalating through the past months.

According to Al-Umsi, IOF have kidnapped over 60 Palestinian fishermen, three of them are still detained under charge of possessing Fiber glass material. IOF have also confiscated about 30 boats since the beginning of the ceasefire in August last year between the Israeli occupation authorities and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza.

Al-Umsi stressed that fishing and navigation is a legitimate right for all Palestinian fishermen, adding that the occupation’s crimes of damaging this profession should not pass.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Israeli forces shoot, injure child of fisherman in Gaza

Sept. 3, 2015 10:24 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 4, 2015 7:22 P.M.) 
Palestinian fishermen collect their catch off the coast of Gaza City on July 6, 2014. (AFP/Mahmud Hams, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian child near the shores of the Beit Lahiya village in the northern Gaza Strip, medics said.Medics told Ma'an that Bilal Abu Amro, 11, was shot in the thigh while he was with his father, a fisherman.He was taken to Kamal Adwan hospital for treatment. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were unaware of the incident.Palestinian fishermen making a living off of the shores of the besieged Gaza Strip face daily risks, including routine harassment from Israeli naval forces, confiscation of boats and materials, detention, and potentially death.At least three Palestinian fishermen have been shot dead by Israeli forces since September.Israeli forces often allege that fishermen deviate from the designated fishing zone and pose a security threat.The exact limits of the zone set by Israeli authorities are often ambiguous, and authorities have not abided by the fishing zone agreed upon in last summer's ceasefire agreement, rights groups say.The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of last summer's ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the "security buffer zone."On July 31, Mohammad Hamid al-Masri,17, was shot by Israeli forces and died instantly north of Beit Lahiya near the border fence.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Israel navy shoots, critically injures Gaza fisherman

July 21, 2015 12:37 P.M. (Updated: July 21, 2015 2:18 P.M.)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces shot and injured a Palestinian fisherman with live rounds off the coast of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, witnesses said.Witnesses said that the fisherman in his 20s was hit with a live bullet in his back and several rubber-coated steel bullets in his hand while fishing off the coast northwest of Gaza City.The unidentified fisherman was taken to al-Shifa Hospital where his injury was reported as critical.An Israeli army spokeswoman had information of an incident off the Gazan coast, but said she was not aware of any injuries sustained by Palestinians.She said that Israeli naval forces fired warning shots "in the air and in the water" after a Palestinian fishing vessel "deviated from the designated fishing zone."She said that the boat "ignored the warnings," at which point Israeli forces fired at the boat's engine.She said that the fishermen and boat were taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod for questioning, before they were released.It was not clear whether the incident was related to the injury reported in Gaza.Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian fisherman and farmers since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014 that ended a devastating 50-day Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip.In May alone, there were a total of 51 incidents of shootings, incursions into the coastal enclave, and arrests, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.This included 41 shootings, which left nine injured, including one minor.The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to both the sea and the border region near the "security buffer zone."

Friday, June 12, 2015

Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian fishing boats

June 12, 2015 6:08 A.M. (Updated: June 13, 2015 9:53 A.M.)
A Palestinian policeman inspects a burned boat on a beach in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on Jan. 3, 2015. (AFP)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, forcing fishermen to flee the area in fear for their lives, a local union said.The union also reported that Israeli forces confiscated eight fishing nets late Thursday. The report comes as several Palestinian fishermen have been detained this month, and three have been shot dead by Israeli forces since September.Risk of death or detention by Israeli forces is compounded by ongoing harassment and interference with their work from Israeli naval forces who frequently confiscate boats and fishing materials, according to documentation by the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights.An Israeli army spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Friday's incident.In a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas last summer, Israel agreed to expand the fishing zone off Gaza's coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore and to continue to expand the area gradually, however fishermen are routinely stopped within the zone.Near-daily confrontation with Israeli naval forces come as many Gazan residents are food insecure, and over 90 percent of Palestinians working in the fishing industry live below the poverty line in Gaza, the Secretary-general of the Union of Fishermen told Ma'an.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Israeli forces release 5 detained fishermen in Gaza

June 4, 2015 10:06 A.M. (Updated: June 4, 2015 10:07 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday evening released five Palestinian fishermen who were detained near al-Sudaniya beach in the northern Gaza Strip the same morning. Secretary general of the fishermen union Amjad al-Sharafi told Ma'an that Israeli forces released the five fishermen from the Baker family who were detained earlier. 
Also Thursday, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions in Gaza said that Israeli forces arrested 60 Palestinian fishermen and seized or destroyed 30 fishing boats since the start of the ceasefire last August. 

The general director of the union Sami al-Asmi said in a statement that Israeli forces seized 77 boats in the last four years, returned 14 of them and destroyed five. They also killed fisherman Sayed Abu Riyala while he was working last March. 

He added that among the 60 fishermen arrested, three remain in Israeli custody for the possession of fiberglass, which used to be legal but now isn't according to Israeli regulations. 

Al-Asmi demanded that Israel stop its continuous attacks on farmers and fishermen in Gaza Strip, and called for the release of those arrested.