22 December 2011
The Oliva left Gaza Seaport at 8:25am with on board his Palestinian captain and two international observers from CPS Gaza.
At 8:50 am, at about 2 nautical miles from the coast (31° 35.12N / 034°
26.22E), Oliva’s crew sighted an Israelis navy vessel which was close to
6 hasakas and heard shooting. The hasakas were observed while getting
away from the Israeli navy vessel and moving towards Oliva. The
fishermen informed Oliva’s crew that an Israeli navy vessel opened fire
at their boats at 5.30 am.
At 9:05, from the same position, Oliva observed the Israeli navy
reaching again the fishermen, continuing shooting in the water and
telling them to go back home. Oliva reached the point where fishermen
were harassed, located at about 2.1 nautical miles from the coast and
within the limit of the northern ‘closed area’ (31° 35.17N / 034°
At 9:25 am Oliva reached the float delimitating the 3 nautical miles (31° 35.62N / 034° 25.03E).
At 9:40, when Oliva was at 2.9 nautical miles offshore (31° 35.21N /
034° 25.07E), the Israeli navy vessel moved at high rate of speed
towards Oliva which hanged back. The same happened at 9:53 am and then
at 10:12 am, when Oliva was at 2.85 nautical miles offshore (31° 34.97N /
At 10:23 Oliva kept observing the Israeli navy vessel from a distance of about 200m and at 10:50 returned to the port of Gaza.
Israel has been regularly attacking Palestinian fishermen within the
purported 3 nautical mile fishing limit. The livelihood of many Gazans
relies on fishing and Israel has been using live ammunition and water
cannons to prevent fishermen from doing their work.
The Israeli Siege continues after more than 4 years, limiting the sea
area available for the Gaza population. This area was supposed to be 20
miles according to the Jericho agreements from 1994 (under the Oslo
accords), then it was reduced to 12 miles, to 6 miles and now to 3 miles
since December 2008.
The Civil Peace Services continue monitoring potential human rights violations at the sea in front of the Gaza Strip.