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Israeli occupation navy keeps on violations against Palestinian fishermen: Al-Mezan center
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Gaza, ALRAY - Israeli occupation authorities persist, during the first term of 2019, its planed violations against Palestinian fishermen and their fishing activities, reducing the fishing zine from 12 nautical miles to just 9 or 3 miles, Al-Mezan center for human rights reported.

The center stressed in a report published Monday that Israel violates all international conventions, rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Under the Oslo agreements ,signed between the PLO and the Israeli occupation forces, the allowed area for fishing for Palestinians is 20 nautical miles along the Gaza Strip coastline, with one mile in which sea activity is prohibited parallel to the southern water frontier of the Gaza Strip and a mile and a half parallel to the border to the northern water frontier.

The reported noted that Israeli occupation authorities did not comply with these conventions and committed repeated patterns of violations against Palestinian maritime activities. On 22 March 1996, the Palestinian fishing area was reduced to 12 nautical miles. Over the following years, fishing area was reduced and restricted most of the time between three and nine nautical miles.

It stressed that the occupation authorities prevent all aspects of fishing activity in other times, where the estimated percentage of the area where the occupation forces prohibit the fishing activity is 85% of the fishing area contained in the agreements.

The report noted that Israeli occupation navy hinders Palestinian fishing by opening fires towards Palestinian fishermen, killing and injured many of them, chasing their boats and detaining the fishermen, and use the most violent methods that would undermine their human dignity.  

It  pointed out that the occupation forces physically assaulted the fishermen and abuse them verbally, forcing them to take off their clothes and swim in the sea despite the cold weather, in clear disregard for the value of the human being, which the international charters were keen to promote and uphold.

The Israeli occupation forces regularly destroy fishing equipment belonging to Palestinian fishermen and take over their boats. In some cases, Israeli navy opens fire hoses at the fishing boats, causing them to be partially or completely flooded.

These violations affect all those who works in fishing sector, especially fishermen, boat makers, nets, equipment, maintenance workers and fish traders, who lose their livelihoods, affecting the human rights of their families. The fishermen are the poorest sector in Palestinian society.

The center calling on the international community stance and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to hold their legal and moral responsibilities towards the violations committed by Israeli occupation forces against fishermen in the Gaza Strip.