GAZA, March 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli naval gunboats Wednesday fired at Palestinian fishermen offshore al-Sudaniya to the northwest of Gaza.
According to WAFA correspondent, Israeli naval gunboats opened heavy fire on fishermen sailing within the unilaterally-imposed six-nautical-miles fishing zone offshore al-Sudaniya, causing damage to a boat.
No injuries were reported among the fishermen who were forced to sail back to the shore.
Israeli naval boats routinely open fire on Palestinian fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-miles zone and farmlands along the border, flagrantly violating the ceasefire deal.
Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during 1 – 31 October 2014, including 18 shooting incidents that resulted in the injury of a fishermen while fishing; destroying two fishing boats; chasing incidents that led to the arrest of seven fishermen; and confiscation of two fishing boats belonging to fishermen in the Gaza Strip, said the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).
It added that Israel’s attacks against Palestinian fishermen, who do not pose any threat to Israeli soldiers, in the Gaza Strip constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, relevant to the protection of the civilian population and respect for its rights, including every person’s right to work, and the right to life, liberty and security of person, as codified in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), despite the fact that Israel is a State Party to the Covenant.
The fishing industry is central to the livelihood of Gaza’s fishermen and residents as generates income for thousands of families and provides food in a time where crossings continue to be closed and imports to be constrained.
Israel and the Palestinian factions reached a ceasefire deal on August 26, ending the latest deadly Israeli onslaught on Gaza that claimed the lives of over 2,200 people, overwhelmingly civilians.
The ceasefire deal stipulated that Israel would immediately ease the blockade imposed on the strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.
Israel has however failed to do so, repeatedly violating the ceasefire deal through opening fire on Palestinian fishermen within the fishing zone and reducing their intake.
Continuing the Cairo-brokered talks on the other key issues was repeatedly postponed in the wake of November attacks against Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula.
Israel has imposed a tightened blockade since 2007 after Hamas won the democratic legislative elections and took over power in the strip.
The current six-nautical-mile fishing zone falls drastically short of the twenty nautical miles allocated to Palestinian fishermen in the 1993 Oslo Accords.