Sunday, February 7, 2010

IOF Arrest Four Fishermen, Seize Boats on Beit Lahyia Coast: Al Mezan Condemns IOF Violations, Calls for International Protection


The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued attacking Palestinian fishermen in Gaza sea. Today, Sunday 7 February 2010, IOF naval vessels opened fire at fishing boats, arrested four fishermen, and confiscated two fishing boats opposite Beit Lahyia coast. Al Mezan condemns IOF’s continuous violations against Palestinian fishermen and calls on international community to provide protection for them.

According to investigations conducted by Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, at approximately 6am on Sunday 7 February 2010, IOF naval vessels that patrol Gaza sea opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats which was north Al-Waha resort, west of Beit Lahia town in the North-Gaza district. The fishermen were working inside the fishing zone that had been announced by the IOF, which is limited to 3 nautical miles. Eyewitnesses informed Al Mezan that IOF military boats moved towards two of the fishing boats and rounded them. IOF ordered four fishermen who were on the fishing boats to swim towards the IOF boats and arrested the four of them. IOF also confiscated their boats. Al Mezan identified their names as follows:
·         Mohammed Abdel-Bari As-Sultan, 21;
·         'Udai Abdel-Bari As-Sultan, 19;
·         Deeb Kamel Al-Anqah, 22; and
·         Ahmed Kamel Al-Anqah, 18.

It was not known where the IOF took them. They have still been detained by the time of issuing this press release.

Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights condemns the IOF attacks against Palestinian fishermen. IOF’s conduct has caused violations of Palestinian fishermen’s rights and affected their living seriously. This new escalation comes as the IOF tightened the siege on the Gaza Strip. This new incident supports the view that IOF prevents Palestinian fishermen from working, even when they are within the Israeli-determined fishing zone, which IOF had announced in March 2009 to be within 3 nautical miles.

Al Mezan reiterates its calls on the international community to intervene and end IOF’s attacks and harassment against Palestinian fishermen in Gaza.