Thursday, March 29, 2012

Khamis, injured by the Israeli navy while fishing in the waters of Gaza

by Rosa Schiano
27 March 2012 | il Blog di Oliva

A Palestinian fisherman, Khamis Baker, was injured on Sunday morning when the Israeli navy opened fire on a group of Palestinian fishing boats in the waters of Gaza.
The Khamis family’s home, in Al-Shati camp (“Beach” camp), is poorly lit , the ceiling falls into pieces, and there is no glass on the windows.

Khamis Baker, Gazan fisherman - Photo courtesy of Rosa Schiano, 2012

Khamis has a bandage on his forehead. The doctors sewed his wound with three stitches. A group of children crowded the room during our visit.
“Every day we face difficulties” Khamis began to tell us. ” Every day we face the fire of the Israeli navy which wants to prevent us from fishing. ”
Khamis was on the boat with his 16 year old son and three cousins.
“The previous day I sent my son to the gasoline station, we decided to go fishing on Sunday morning. While we were at sea, the Israeli Navy started to shoot using water cannons. Suddenly my son told me that there was blood on my face, I was wounded.”
“It was a waste of time and gasoline, -Khamis continues, – hours and hours spent at the gasoline station in order to get the fuel.
The Israeli navy ship fired continuously  since the morning and it turned quickly around our boats in order to create waves.”
Khamis and the other fishermen were in the “permitted” area, designated by Israel within three nautical miles from the coast. Nonetheless, the soldiers were shouting to them, “Go to the south, go away.”
There were more than twenty fishing boats at sea. But because they could not fish anymore, they all went back to the port.
Khamis has worked for thirty years as a fisherman and has nine children. In the same home live also the families of his relatives, totaling about one hundred people. They all depend on fishing.
I ask Khamis how much they can gain from fishing. “150 shekels,” he answers me which is the equivalent of $40, “but half of it goes to pay the gasoline only. The rest is divided by five, so we gain a maximum of 20 shekels each.”
Khamis tells us that there is no way to fish beyond three miles. The Israeli navy ships arrive quickly. Once their boat overturned and they felt in the sea.
I finally ask Khamis if he feels like sending a message to the international community.
“We demand at least a guarantee for our future, we need to live in safety, we ask at least a guarantee for the security of our children.We do not ask anything,  just to end the siege, because the Palestinian people suffer and die because of it. Every fisherman suffers from this situation.”
Khamis is just one of the many fishermen injured by the Israeli navy in the waters of Gaza.Israel regularly attacks the Palestinian fishermen within the limit of three nautical miles and prevents them from fishing by using firearms and water cannons.The restrictions on the fishing area have a significant impact on the subsistence of the fishermen of Gaza. This area should extend for 20 nautical miles according to the Jericho Agreements of 1994 (under the Oslo agreements), but was then reduced to 12 miles, then 6 and finally at 3 miles in January 2009. The “buffer zone” of water imposed by Israel prevents the Gaza fishermen from accessing the 85% of the marine area  that the Oslo agreement entitles them to use.

Rosa Schiano is a volunteer with International Solidarity Movement.

Updated on March 29, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ministry: Israel detained 14 Gazans in February

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained 14 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip during February, including five fishermen and a cancer patient, according to report by the ministry of prisoners affairs in the Hamas-run government.

Researcher Riyad Al-Ashqar said the number of Gaza detainees rose to 21 during 2012.

Five men were detained in eastern Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip near the borders with Israel, he said. They were identified as Marwan Ahmad al-Sufi, Abdullah Muhammad al-Sufi, Ashraf al-Sufi, Muhammad Abu Athira and Saddam Abu Athira, all from Rafah.

Three other young men from Al-Bureij refugee camp, he added, were detained as they were allegedly trying to infiltrate into Israel to look for work.

Furthermore, al-Ashqar added that five fishermen were detained off the coast in three separate operations by Israeli navy. They were forced to undress and jump into the sea water to come close to the Israeli naval boats.

They were taken to Ashdod port for interrogation before they were released five hours later. Al-Ashqar identified them as Adham Mahmoud Abu Riyala, Mahmoud Mahmoud Abu Riyala, Ahmad Zayid, Jamal al-Sultan and his son Fadil.

The Gaza government official added that amongst the detainees was 22-year-old Kamil Hikmat Taramsi from Gaza City. The man was detained at Erez crossing while he was heading to seek treatment from cancer in Israeli hospitals.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

PCHR weekly report 23/2 - 29/2/2012:

extract from PCHR weekly report 23/2 - 29/2/2012

IOF have continued to attack Palestinian fishermen at sea.
IOF opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the shore of Deir al-Balah and confiscated fishing nets.

Sunday, 26 February 2012 

At approximately 18:00, IOF gunboats opened fire at a number of Palestinian fishermen who were fishing 2,000 meters off the shore of Deir al-Balah.  The fishermen were accordingly forced to move approximately 450 meters to the east in fear for their lives but IOF confiscated fishing nets belonging to Samir Nustafa Suleiman al-Aqraa, 42, from Deir al-Balah, and Yousef Mohammed Musa al-Aqraa, 52, from Deir al-Balah.

 Monday, 27 February 2012

At approximately 18:00, IOF gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishermen who were fishing 2,000 meters off the shore of Deir al-Balah.  The fishermen sailed to the east and fled to the shore in fear for their lives.