Fishing in Gaza is a trap for people

At six o’clock in the evening, Palestinian fisherman Jihad began his voyage at sea, just throwing his fishing nets four miles, until the Israeli Marines began shouting at him through loudspeakers: “You are forbidden to come here, fishing is forbidden. Today, come back in Gaza. ” He immediately responded.Jihad for them, and he used the engine of his vehicle, which is classified in the Gaza Strip as a large size, 19 meters long and is one of only 11 vehicles present in Gaza.

The jihadist behavior and response to the Israeli decision to return to the Gaza Strip was not enough for the soldiers who immediately opened fire with automatic weapons placed on their boats towards his boat and according to the documentation processes carried out by the Union of Fishermen Committees (a Palestinian organization) and the Gisha Gisha Association (an Israeli human rights organization), Soldiers shot him directly with seven bullets, three of which were in the middle of the fisherman’s shoulder. They asked him to go naked to the sea, and then arrested him in a super cruise boat and took his boat to the port of Ashdod, which is located in the northern Gaza Strip.

detention and trial

Jihad’s detention lasted for about 48 hours, after which the Israeli navy released him, but informed him that his boat would be brought before a military court to sue him for exceeding the allotted space. Sewage over him before his arrest and they shot him with 4 sniffer dogs, one of which ate his legs without receiving any medical attention, adding that “After the arrest and what happened, they will test my boat militarily.”

On January 25, the Israeli government passed a decision giving the Navy the right to seize any boat from the Gaza Strip if it exceeded the limits of the permitted fishing zone or if it did not follow the orders of soldiers working at sea. patrol or if suspected of security conditions or a mysterious case committed by the boat or the person driving it.

The Israeli government also agreed to subject the fishermen’s boats to a military tribunal after they were confiscated and dragged into a black port, according to an indictment prepared by the Public Prosecutor’s Office against the same boat, with the concept of punishment for the boat and owner .

In fact, implementation of this decision began in early June and over the past seven days, the Gaza Strip has been transformed from a fishing area into a fertile center for human fishing, according to the description of human rights institutions operating in Palestinian and Israeli territories.


According to monitoring and documentation operations carried out by the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (an institution that operates in Gaza and has the right to claim legal action in Israel), the Gisha Army (which protects individual rights in Israel) and the Union i Fishermen’s Committees (a non-governmental organization), it In recent days, the Israeli navy fired 190 times at fishermen in areas allowed to work, injuring 11, including three children, and arresting 152 fishermen, including six children. , and 11 boats are seized, all of which will go to the Military Court.

The coordinator of the Union of Fishermen Committees, Zakaria Bakr, says that Israel’s decisions mean the diversion of the sea from persecuting fish to persecuting fishermen, and this is clear from the number of violations that were monitored within a short period and according to the documentation. Prosecution and arrests are made near the shore, ie in areas where fishing is allowed, and away from areas that raise suspicions about the sailor in the presence of security concerns.

important period

In fact, Israel is conducting its campaigns against fishermen, at an important time for marine workers, as June is considered the “sardine season” (a type of fish) and accounts for about 40 percent of the annual catch. and this is the first time Tel Aviv has allowed fishermen to do business in that period for five years.

Bakr explains that fishermen depend on this season to pay off their debts and repair their dilapidated equipment, but what is happening is that there is a clear attempt by Israel to control food and livelihood sources and the instability of his.

He adds, “Tel Aviv operates in a systematic manner and usually the forms of attacks vary between arresting and prosecuting boats, targeting with machine guns, rubber bullets or pumping sewage into boats to kill them, and this results in “Fishermen’s leaving their jobs without nets and associated equipment, which means another loss awaits them.”

The number of fishermen in Gaza decreased and the number of workers is estimated at around 2000, while their number exceeded 5000 before 2006. This is due to Israeli harassment and refusal to supply boat equipment to the Gaza Strip.

bulk arrests

In any case, since the beginning of the month Israel has arrested 152 fishermen, in fact most of them are released after 48 hours of detention and interrogation, while 5 of them are still being held for security reasons. Tel Aviv has not released the 11 boats that have taken them to its lands, it insists on judging them militarily.

The fisherman, Jihad, believes he is more familiar than human rights organizations with what is happening at sea, as he is the one who, like the rest of the fishermen, is exposed to events and says what is happening every day. is that the Israeli navy is pursuing the fisherman 5 miles offshore, and preventing him from carrying out his work.

In fact, the Oslo Accords allowed fishermen in Gaza to fish at a depth of 20 nautical miles, but since 2006 Israeli authorities have allowed entry only at a distance of 9 miles, and after understanding between Hamas and Israel in in 2019, the latter decided to expand the area to 15 miles, she says it still is.

However, Jihad confirms that the Israeli boats (the borders you set at sea to know the forbidden areas to cross), are not 9 miles from the shore and there are no fish in that area.

According to Jihad, the Marines arrest about 5 fishermen every day and from the documentation data it results that the total number of stop operations has gone to 152 and this is what has turned the sea into a stop area and not a fishing area. “The shooting is torture, a two-hour chase, or not, in addition to pumping sewage, arresting and obstructing return to sea.”

According to information received, Israel is launching a campaign inside the local waters of Gaza, because it believes that the groups are planning to carry out a mission, so it is trying to collect the largest amount of information from fishermen, in addition to the suspicion that they are linked to forces. military in the Belt.

Jihad describes that the sea has turned into a trap for fishermen and continues: “We always ask them the reason for their arrest and the reason is the presence of a security suspicion. We will conduct the investigation and then release you. “In some cases, we are subjected to psychological and physical torture after being released by dogs and beaten with sticks and using electric detonators.”

Martial Boat Test

This is not just what is happening, as the fishermen’s boats are subject to a military trial and among those boats is also the boat owned by Jihad, as he is scheduled to be tried on Wednesday, June 8, after a delay of 21 days.

Mona Haddad, a lawyer for the Gisha Gisha Association, which defends on behalf of Jihad, says the prosecution has filed an indictment alleging the ship exceeded the permitted limits and this is a violation of the law, while the court has ruled it impossible. conditions, requiring a $ 10,000 fine, with the presence of an Israeli sponsor for the boat guarantees that it does not exceed three miles and if this is not done during the trial, it will issue a decision to confiscate the boat and destroy its engine . without returning it to the owner in Gaza.

Legal and illegal

In response, Ghassan Alyan, coordinator of the Israeli government’s activities in the Palestinian territories, said: there was a violation when the Public Prosecution prepared an indictment against any boat or its owner. ”

But Salah Abdel-Aty, head of the Commission for the Support of Palestinian Rights (an international organization), sees this as a serious and dangerous violation of human rights and a violation of the rules of international law, especially the provisions of Fourth Geneva Convention. , the Israeli authorities must change their court decision and the mediators must put pressure on it.

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