Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gaza fishermen protest Israeli harassment at sea

Date: 20 / 05 / 2009 Time: 16:38

Gaza – Ma’an – Hundreds of Gazan fishermen launched their boats for a mass demonstration at sea Wednesday, in protest against the constant threat they are under when they sail into fishing waters.

Dozens of fishermen have been attacked, boats damaged and hundreds scared off from entering the coastal waters to fish, said fishermen at a news conference directed at international human rights organizations. The protesters demanded they be guaranteed protection to go about their livelihoods.

More than 3,500 fishermen and 2,000 workers in fish-industry and related jobs rely on the ability to access fishing waters off the Gaza coast. “Our boats and our lives should not be in danger; we should not be harassed by Israeli soldiers,” one spokesman said.

“I dream of the moment I get to sail in my boat and just sing and fish, without having to worry about where the gunboats are waiting for me,” said a protester. “But that never happens.”

Palestinian fishermen protest Zionist practices against them
[ 20/05/2009 - 09:37 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)- Hundreds of Palestinian fishermen backed by tens of foreign supporters demonstrated on Wednesday at the Sea of Gaza, protesting the Israeli occupation's continued aggressions against them.

The Palestinian international campaign against the siege, which organized the demonstration, said that the Palestinian fishermen were exposed to daily Israeli harsh measures, including arresting them, and confiscating their fishing boats and equipment.

The Israeli Navy has warned Palestinian fishermen not to sail more than 3 miles into the sea and banned them from fishing beyond that limit although international agreements give them the full right to cruise for 12 miles in the sea.

"Palestinian fishermen faced two bitter options; giving up fishing and facing the nightmare of poverty and hunger, or challenging the Israeli restrictions risking one's life", the organizers of the demonstration pointed out.

According to the campaign, there were 3,500 Palestinian fishermen, and around 2,000 workers working in fishing-related professions in the densely Gaza Strip who are totally depend on fishing as their only source of income.

It added that it is about time for the international community to effectively interfere and to pressure the IOA not to "squeeze" the Palestinian fishermen, and to allow them fishing in accordance to international agreements and conventions.