Israeli Naval Forces Open Fire at Gazan Fishermen

September 23, 2016

palestineIsraeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, local sources said.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli gun boats “attacked” several fishing boats off the coast of the al-Sudaniyya area in the northern Gaza Strip and attempted to sink some of them. The fishermen were then forced to retreat to the shore.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports.

On Monday, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the village of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, shooting and injuring 30-year-old Ahmad Zayid, local sources said.

Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.

Palestinians who work near the “buffer zone” between the Palestinian enclave and Israel often come under fire from military forces, as the Israeli military has not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.

The Israeli army regularly open fires on Palestinian fishermen and farmers along the border areas, despite a ceasefire agreement that ended the 2014 war.

The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sectors of the blockaded coastal enclave.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen at least 139 times over the course of 2015, wounding 24 and damaging 16 fishing boats.

“These attacks occurred in a time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living,” PCHR said.

Source: Ma’an News