Gaza, MINA – Several Palestinian and Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on Thursday call the Israeli authorities to put an end to attacks on Gaza fishermen.
Human rights organizations Gisha, Adalah and Gaza-based Al Mezan sent an urgent letter to Israel’s attorney general and military advocate general, demanding they order the military put an immediate end to the harassment of fishermen and investigate past incidents, WAFA reported.
In recent weeks, the Israeli navy has increasingly used violent enforcement measures at sea, with incidents of fire on fishermen off the coast of Gaza rising by 70 percent in April compared to January-March 2020, according to the NGOs.
“The use of live fire threatens fishermen’s lives and causes severe damage to boats and equipment,” they said.
The violence with which the military enforces the maritime closure on Gaza as a matter of routine includes measures such as unrestrained use of live fire, submerging of boats, degrading treatment of fishermen, seizure of boats and damage to equipment.
According to Al Mezan, 105 incidents of Israeli navy fire at Gaza fishing boats were recorded in the first four months of 2020; six fishermen were wounded, and seven others were arrested, including a minor. In addition, seven boats sustained severe damage, large quantities of fishing equipment were destroyed, and one boat was seized.
These practices by the Israeli navy have continued this month as well.
In the letter sent on behalf of the three organizations, Gisha lawyer Muna Haddad stated that “the policy of using potentially lethal force against fishermen and causing severe, irreversible harm to their property is illegal and disproportionate.”
Israel’s actions at sea are just one, but a stark example of the control Israel still wields over the lives of Gaza’s residents. (T/R6/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)