Palestine – Lives and livelihoods endangered by bullets and bombs from Israel’s navy
Location: Gaza seaport – Gaza – Palestine
Source: A24 in Gaza
Restrictions: A24 subscribers
Date: 27/07/ 2022
Fishers in Gaza are alarmed about renewed Israeli attacks on their lives and livelihoods.
Zakariya Baker, Head of Gaza’s Fishermen Committee, told A24 that the attacks endanger the lives and incomes of more than 4,000 fishers and 50,000 fish workers.
The group reports Israeli navy ships attacked their fishing boats and fired live rounds and gas bombs at them inside the 15-mile-wide zone of Palestinian waters off Gaza on Monday. That followed a similar incident Saturday.
Gaza’s aquaculture is also impaired by Israel, preventing entry of spare parts and fiberglass used to build boat hulls, leading to many ships being out of commission.
Israel frequently announces new reductions of the fishing areas into chunks, sometimes restricting Palestinian fishermen to a 3-mile-wide catch area.
– Soundbite (Abdul Mu’ti Al-Habil – Fisherman):
“We as fishermen face many challenges because of the Israeli occupation, blockade and import bans. Israel army and navy fire at us and spray us with strong wastewater that breaks our small boats. My children arrive at 6 in the morning to help us, they bring kerosene and ice, after their shift ends, others take over. After we are done fishing, we head to the market to sell the fish. The fishing area Israel opened for us is only 15 miles, which is enough but the problem is that the Israeli army does not permit us to bring in fishing equipment. The Israeli army bans imports of spare parts for boats and other material for fishing.”
– Soundbite (Zakariya Baker – Head of Fishermen Committees):
“Israel has committed many crimes against fishermen using a variety of oppressive tools and methods.
First, Israel has imposed a suffocating naval blockade on fishermen, reducing fishing areas, dividing the sea into several sections. Second, Israel navy carries out daily pursuits using warships to attack fishermen, which have increased recently. Israel navy carried out 220 attacks during the first half of this year, which resulted in the arrest of 41 fishermen, injury of 18 fishermen, confiscation of 13 boats, destruction of nearly 18 boats, and tearing of hundreds of fishing nets. We have been having difficulties recently with fish production, as there is lack of fish in the sea, which is an issue that affects the lives of more than 50,000 fishworkers and 4,000 fishermen.”