Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Palestinian fishermen remain frequent targets of Israeli forces off Gaza coast: 28 recent arrests

22.04.09 - 09:56

Gaza / PNN - Israeli forces continue to harass Palestinian fishermen in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Gaza adding to the plight of those trying to make a living in the devastated economy.

Yesterday the Israeli navy arrested four hassaka fishermen and confiscated two boats.

The men are reported as Khader Al Sa’di and Salim Al No’man from Gaza, and Ra’ed Othman and Mohammad Awadaf from Rafah. International activists from the ISM in Gaza report 28 Palestinian fishermen having been abducted since the end of the major January attacks, 13 fishing boats taken and not returned.

Once in the Israeli prison system residents of the Gaza Strip are denied contact with family members, and news of them is more difficult to garner than that of other Palestinian political prisoners. Imprisoned Gazans are part of wide-spread efforts to gain the release of all 11,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, with last Friday’s Prisoners Day focusing on their situation.

Under Oslo 20 nautical miles are open to Gazans, but the Israelis are known to shoot within a mile out to sea and also on the shore.

At least five people have been injured. On 26 January Israeli forces shot Ala’ Al Habil in the lower leg while he was trawling less than one nautical mile off the coast, while less than two weeks later on 6 February Israeli forces shot Mahmoud Al Nadar in both legs just one and a half miles off the coast the southern Strip’s Rafah.