Friday, January 29, 2010

Medics: Gaza fisherman seriously hurt by naval fire

Gaza – Ma'an – A Palestinian fisherman was injured overnight by Israeli warships, when they opened fire on a cluster of small fishing boats of the Rafah coast before sunrise on Friday, medics said.

Medical sources at Abu Yousef Najar Hospital identified the injured man as 39-year-old Wael Al-Bardawil, who arrived in critical condition after sustaining gunshot wounds to the back.

Al-Bardawil was transferred to the European Hospital in Khan Younis once he was stabilized, medics said. He is being kept in the intensive care unit.

An Israeli military spokesman said the navy was not familiar with any such incident.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report on the Protection of Civilians for 2009 said Israeli policing of the Gaza fishing waters and the resulting reduction of areas accessible by Palestinian fishermen "has been the main factor behind the sharp decline in the fishing catch from 3,117 tonnes in 2008 to 1,850 tonnes in 2009, according to the Fishing Syndicate in Gaza."