Posted by: Lister | September 19, 2008

Israeli Navy shooting at Gaza Fishermen

What sound like warning shots. The incident was filmed. The Sunday Herald reports:

The footage, taken on September 6 by Andrew Muncie, who is from the Highlands, shows an Israeli gunboat engaging fishing boats while international observers hold their arms in the air and scream for them to stop firing.

No-one was injured in the incident, but Palestinian fishermen claim 14 colleagues have been murdered at sea by the Israeli navy since the onset of an economic blockade imposed after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Israel says patrolling these waters is a vital security measure to stop weapons being smuggled into Gaza.

[…] Muncie claimed that in a separate incident on September 3, two fishermen were hospitalised and another fishing boat had been rammed and badly damaged in a separate incident last week.

The ISM have a picture of the damaged boat, and report:

At high speed an Israeli gunboat rammed a Palestinian fishing vessel. The gunboat smashed through the upper hull, careened over the top of the fishing boat, and landed on the other side.

[…] Via a megaphone, the gunboat crew then made the threat that ‘When the internationals leave Gaza, you will all be made to pay.’

From the Sunday Herald, again:

Under the 1993 Oslo accords, Gazan fishermen were to be allowed 20 nautical miles out to sea. According to Oxfam, fishermen are now only allowed six miles out to sea – not far enough out to reach the schools of large fish – and risk being shot or arrested if they breach this limit.

The ISM also has video of water-cannon being used against fishing boats. There’s no sound on this computer, but the video has subtitles. The ISM reports that the water damages old boats and that an Italian activist was injured:

An Italian activist was injured. Vittorio Arrigoni was hit by flying glass when the water canon smashed the glass surrounding the wheelhouse of the boat, with shards lacerating Vittorio’s back. He was been taken to hospital immediately upon reaching shore, requiring ten stitches.

I should imagine that not much fishing took place on that voyage.

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