Sunday, March 28, 2010

Scans of shot Gaza Fishermen show Israeli Claims are False

Gaza, March 28, (Pal Telegraph) ISM Follow up Report on Gaza Fisherman Hazem Gora'ani:

Dr Osama Al Aklouk and his team from the Shifa’a Neurosurgery Department give evidence that dismiss Israel’s claim that they did not fire and that Hazem fell and injured his head. He is the head of the Department and Hazem Gora'ni was operated on by two of his surgeouns: Dr Haris Sheikh Deeb and Dr Jibara Awad Ala.
Dr Al Aklouk described the injury as follows:
A very serious explosive injury where a number of fragments were lodged between the skin and the skull and one large fragment 1x2 centimetres penetrated the skull (a white area in the centre on the CT scan) and caused brain lesion and serious bleeding.
Following a CT scan and urgent surgery was done to remove the blood, stop further bleeding and also metal fragments lodged between the skin and the skull were removed.
The large fragment inside the skull was not removed because the doctors have made an assessment and decided that Hazem needs to stabilise and than they would decide if removing the fragment is likely to cause more damage than benefit.
Hazem continues to be in coma in a critical condition and receiving ICU treatment which includes 24 hours monitoring, control of bleeding and decompression.
The large fragment is in a very sensitive part of the brain and Dr Al Aklouk did not want to speculate but said that it is likely that Hazem will have permanent mobility problems and changes in his behaviour are likely.
What caused the injury?
Dr Al Aklouk and his team were in agreement that the fragments have resulted from an explosion by an explosive device or an unconventional type of a bullet.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Fisherman injured following naval confrontation

Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli gunboats opened fire on fishermen off the Gaza coast near Beit Lahiya in the northern Strip on Thursday morning, injuring one man, medics said.

The unidentified fisherman was treated on the scene, Gaza director of ambulance and emergency services Muawiya Hassanein said.

Medics said the man was lightly injured and successfully treated.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said naval boats observed the vessel heading out of the enforced fishing limit in the northern Strip, and "called several times" warning the boat to return to the area, after which warning shots were fired, she said.

As the fisherman "attempted to evade" Israeli naval boats, the spokeswoman said naval officers saw the fisherman "search his belongings" on the boat at which point he "fell and injured his head" on the side of the boat. The spokeswoman noted that officers reported seeing the fisherman fully conscious following the incident.

Investigations from the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza, however, said the fisherman - Hazem Ahmed Jom'a Al Qur’aan, 27 - was injured in the head by shrapnel from the Israeli fire.

The investigation cited medical sources at the Kamal Edwan Hospital, saying his injuries were critical and that e was referred to the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for treatment.

In his affidavit to Al Mezan, the organization's report said, fellow fisherman Jamil Hassan Al-Aqraa stated that "as Palestinian fishing boats moved in the sea, and only after moving for 70 meters, Israeli boats opened fire at them directly, causing injury to my relative, Hazem, and damage to his boat (hasaka) severely."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fisherman shot in the head and critically ill in Shifa’a Hospital in Gaza

Posted on the ISM page: March 25, 2010

ISM Gaza
25 March 2010
Fisherman Hazem Gora’ani, age 26, from the town of Deir Al Balah, south of Gaza City, was brought to Shifa Hospital with serious head wounds around 9 o’clock this morning.

gaza fish
Hazem Gora'ani in intensive care unit

An urgent operation lasting one and a half hours was performed to stop the bleeding inside his brain. Dr Samir Kahlout from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) told the ISM volunteers who visited Mr Gora’ani that his condition was critical and unstable and that he was unconscious following the operation. Over the next 72 hours Mr Gora’ani will be monitored and the decision will be made about the need for further operations, including to remove bits of shrapnel lodged in his brain.
We talked to Mr Gora’ani’s brother Nafiz who was anxiously waiting in front of the ICU with a relative and another two fishermen for news about Hazem.
Nafiz was not present when the incident happened and he gave us an account by their brother who was fishing with Hazem and a third fisherman in a small hassaka boat this morning.
They were fishing well inside the Palestinian waters, less than three nautical miles away from the shore with another hassaka, when they were approached by the Israeli speed boat who attempted to kidnap them and take them to Ashkelon.
They panicked and tried to sail towards the coast. In response the Israeli soldiers opened a barrage of fire which critically injured Hazem. A collegue who was present in the hospital told us that there are a number of bullet holes in the hassaka.
A group of Gazan fisherman whom ISM talked with recently told us that Israeli soldiers fire at the fishermen so frequently that incidents are rarely reported if they did not result in serious injury. Only a few weeks ago two hassakas were kidnapped by the Israeli soldiers and destroyed after being taken to Ashkelon, whilst the fishermen were being interrogated and later released.
Updated on March 25, 2010

Thursday, 25 March 2010 12:19 Added by PT Editor maysaa jarour

1_32Gaza, March 25, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli gunships opened fire on Thursday at Palestinian fishing boats off the coasts of northern Gaza Strip and injured a fisherman.
Hasim Juma Qzaan was injured and taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia in the northern sector, Palestinian sources said.
Palestinian fishing boats are targeted daily, as Israel claims that they exceed the three-mile fishing limit.
Photo: Mohammed Asad

Al Mezan


Israeli Gunboats Open Fire on Palestinian Fishing Boats; injure one

At app. 9:30am on Thursday 25 March 2010,  IOF naval vessels that patrol Gaza sea opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats which were north to Al-Waha resort, west of Beit Lahyia town in the North-Gaza district. As a result, Hazem Ahmed Jom'a Al Qur’aan, 27, was injured in the head by the shrapnel of a bullet. According to medical sources at Kamal Odwan Hospital, his injuries are critical. He was referred to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
In his affidavit to Al Mezan, fisherman Jamil Hassan Al-Aqraa’ stated that ‘as Palestinian fishing boats moved in the sea, and only after moving for 70 meters, Israeli boats opened fire at them directly, causing injury to my relative, Hazem, and damage to his boat (hasaka) severly’.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Egyptian coast guards detain 2 Gaza fishermen

Gaza – Ma'an – Egyptian coast guards detained two Gaza fishermen on Sunday evening on charges of entering Egyptian territorial water, officials said.

The fishermen told Egyptian authorities they had unknowingly entered the country's territorial waters. Police identified them as Ahmad Sa'id An-Najjar, 17, and Basim Abed Rabbo, 36.

On Saturday, coast guards detained three Palestinian fishermen also held on charges of illegally entering the country's territorial waters.

The fishermen claimed they were having engine trouble and were dragged along by the current, Ma'an's Egypt correspondent reported.

The incident was not the first of its kind. Egyptian authorities have sentenced fishermen who were detained in similar circumstances to one year of probation and a fine of 1,000 Egyptian pounds (150 US dollars) before returning them to the Gaza Strip.

Sunday's detentions are the fifth since the beginning of 2010, with Egyptian authorities returning Palestinian fishermen to the Gaza Strip following legal proceedings.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gaza fishermen detained by Egypt coast guard

Al-Arish – Ma'an – Three Palestinian fishermen were detained on Saturday night by the Egyptian coast guard, held on charges of illegally entering the country's territorial waters.

The fishermen claimed they were having engine trouble and were dragged along by the current, Ma'an's Egypt correspondent reported.

The incident was not the first of its kind. Egyptian authorities have sentenced fishermen who were detained in similar circumstances to one year of probation and a fine of 1,000 Egyptian pounds (150 US dollars) before returning them to the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces uncovered a tunnel near the Rafah border used for smuggling cars into the coastal enclave. The tunnel was discovered between the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings, in an area where Egypt's underground wall has yet to be built.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

PCHR weekly report 11/3 - 17/3/10: attack against fishermen in Beit Lahia

extract from PCHR weekly report 11/3 - 17/3/10

Friday, 12 March 2010

At approximately 22:10, Israeli gunboats stationed opposite to Beit Lahia beach in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats.  Palestinian fishermen were forced to sail back to the beach, and no casualties or damage were reported.  

Friday, March 12, 2010

IOF Gunboats Open Fire on Palestinian Fishing Boats in North Gaza District


At app. 10:20pm on Friday 12 March 2010, Israeli naval vessels that patrol Gaza sea opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats which were situated off the coast of  Biet Lahyia, in the North Gaza District. No  casualties or injured were reported but the fishermen left the area without finishing their fishing.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PCHR weekly report 4/3 - 10/3/10: 3 fishermen abducted later released, boat stolen

extracts from PCHR weekly report 4/3 - 10/3/10:

Friday, 05 March 2010

At approximately 03:00, Israeli naval troops opened fire at a small Palestinian fishing boat 500 - 700 meters from Rafah beach in the southern Gaza Strip. They then surrounded the boat and forced the fishermen on board to take off their clothes and swim towards the gunboat. Israeli naval troops arrested the fishermen and confiscated the boat. The fishermen were released at approximately 16:30 on the same day. They are: Nafez Mohammed al-Aqra', 39; Mohammed Nabeel al-Aqra', 22; and Mohammed Mohammed al-Aqra', 20.  

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gaza fishermen under fire

Photo: Suhair Karam/IRIN
Sami al-Qouqa (right) lost his left hand when his fishing boat came under fire from an Israeli gunboat on 12 March 2007. He sits with his fishermen friends in Gaza port
GAZA CITY, 24 February 2010 (IRIN) - Sami al-Qouqa, a 30-year-old former fisherman from al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza, lost his left hand when his fishing boat came under fire from an Israeli gunboat on 12 March 2007, in an incident documented by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

“I was on my small fishing boat in Palestinian fishing waters when two Israeli warships approached me. The Israeli navy shouted at me: ‘Go back or we’ll kill you!’ Initially, I refused, so they began shooting at me. One of the gunboat’s shells hit me and seriously wounded my left forearm and hand,” al-Quoqa told IRIN.

He was taken to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City where doctors amputated his hand. He has since been unemployed and depends on the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) for food aid for his wife and two sons.

Gaza fishermen say ever-tightening restrictions on where they can fish, frequent attacks by Israeli gunboats and an economic blockade in place since 2007 are putting more and more of them out of business.

“Now, Israelis shoot all the time and without reason. The Israeli navy keeps confiscating fishing equipment and ripping up fishermen’s nets. We want a solution but we don’t know how or what or when. How long can this go on?” Muhamed Subuh al-Hissi, a member of the Palestinian fishermen’s trade union in Gaza, told IRIN.

Photo: Suhair Karam/IRIN
Gazan fishermen take high risks for a meagre reward
He said that before the 23-day Israel-Hamas war in Gaza around the beginning of 2009 Israeli gunboats only opened fire on fishermen who strayed beyond the three-mile buffer zone, but now boats were shot at well within the zone.

Under the Oslo Accords, a peace agreement between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Israel signed in 1993, fishermen in Gaza were legally allowed to venture out 20 nautical miles. However, since the start of the second `intifada’ in 2000, the Israeli navy imposed a three-mile fishing limit, and has enforced it rigourously since last year’s war, saying it was necessary to stop weapons being smuggled into Gaza.

Israeli view

“The Israeli marines shoot at Palestinian boats which are suspected of smuggling arms into Gaza, posing a threat to the security of Israel," Avikhay Adrii, an Israeli army spokesman, told IRIN. “Some groups use Palestinian fishing boats for terror purposes and the Israeli navy must protect Israel’s shores.”

In early February Israeli Navy Commander Maj-Gen Eliezer Marom told reporters that Palestinian “terror organizations” were “making cynical use of Gaza’s fishermen for terror purposes” after the discovery on an Israeli beach of a third explosive device disguised as a barrel. He said any collaboration with the Palestinian militant groups who claimed responsibility for the launching of the barrels would harm fishermen’s livelihoods.

“Regular security ships guard the area, and allow Gaza’s fishermen to fish peacefully. I call on them not to cooperate with terror organizations and not to allow them to use these fishing boats for these purposes,” he said.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), from 20 January to 2 December 2009, there were 36 Israeli naval attacks on Gaza fishermen while enforcing their buffer zone.

Local witnesses said the latest incident was on 22 February, when Israeli gunboats fired on fishermen off the coast of Gaza, forcing them to return to shore. An Israeli military spokeswoman denied the shooting occurred.

Photo: Suhair Karam/IRIN
A Palestinian fisherman unloads fish from boats at the port in Gaza City. Fishermen say they are catching fewer and fewer fish because of Israel's ever-tightening restrictions
Dwindling catches, hopes

According to Gaza-based Palestinian think-tank PAL-Think,10 years ago there used to be about 6,000 fishermen in Gaza catching 3,000 tons of fish a year; now there are around 3,600 making such small catches that some have turned to opening fish farms on land.

The Israeli blockade also prevents the export of fish out of Gaza, further hitting the livelihoods of fishermen.

“As a result of the Israeli-imposed restrictions on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian fishermen cannot reach many points and cannot catch many fish… All the boats fish in the same areas, and there are no fish as a result in Gaza,” Hamas agriculture minister Mohamed Ramadan Agha told IRIN.

He called on international organizations to take serious action to protect the livelihoods of Palestinian fishermen.

Meanwhile, former fisherman al-Qouqa is despondent: “I’m really living a miserable life because fishing is impossible with only one hand. I come to the port just to see and talk with my fishermen friends. I can’t stay at home all the time.”


Friday, March 5, 2010

Union: 3 Fishermen detained by Israeli navy

Gaza – Ma'an – Israeli navy guards detained three Gazan fishermen just off the shores of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on Friday, head of the local Fishermen's Union said.

Nizar Ayyash identified the three fishermen as Nafeth Al-Aqra, Muhammad Nabil and Muhammad Al-Aqra, all from the central Strip. He said they were taken, along with their fishing vessel, to an unknown destination.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the report.

On Wednesday, The Associated Press released a news report alleging fishermen, "cut off from plentiful fishing grounds by Israeli patrol boats — have turned to sneaking into Egyptian waters in tiny motorboats to buy their catch and bring it home," and even "bring[ing] in fish by land, in ice-packed plastic foam boxes pulled through smuggling tunnels from Egypt."

Israeli forces continue to enforce access restrictions on fishing areas beyond three nautical miles from the shore, a restriction enforced since January 2009, a UN report from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reminded in its first Feburary Protection of Civilians report.