Palestinian Fisherman Shot and Killed by Israeli Forces

16 May

23-year old fisherman Muhammad Bakr was shot and killed Monday morning.

The Palestine Chronicle, 15 May 2017

A Palestinian fisherman who was shot and injured by Israeli forces off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip earlier on Monday succumbed to his wounds while hospitalized in Israel, a local NGO reported.

According to the al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Muhammad Majid Bakr, a 23-year-old resident from the al-Shati refugee camp, was shot by Israeli naval forces at around 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning while fishing off the coast of Gaza with his brother Umran Majid Bakr.

Umran told al-Mezan that Bakr had been shot in the chest, and was still bleeding when Israeli naval ships surrounded their fishing boat and detained Bakr.

The Palestinian liaison office officially confirmed Bakr’s death on Monday afternoon.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an New Agency that a Palestinian fishing vessel “deviated from the designated fishing zone” in the early morning hours on Monday. As the fishing boat reportedly continued to advance further into sea after Israeli forces fired shots into the air, the spokesperson said, Israeli soldiers shot at the boat.

The spokesperson confirmed that one fisherman was injured and was declared dead once taken to a hospital in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, adding that the case was “under review” by the army.

As part of Israel’s blockade of the coastal enclave since 2007, Palestinian fishermen have been required to work within a limited “designated fishing zone,” the exact limits of which are decided by the Israeli authorities and have historically fluctuated.

Al-Mezan has reported that since the beginning of the year, Israel has seized five fishing boats, detained 14 Palestinian fishermen, shot and injured four, and killed one other fisherman, who drowned after Israeli forces sunk his boat.

According to Ma’an documentation, Bakr is one of at least 22 Palestinians to have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2017, three of whom were killed in the besieged Gaza Strip.

NOTE:

Solidarity with Gaza Fishers is a campaign of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition which aims to link the struggle of Palestinian fishers in Gaza, under blockade and under constant attacks by Israel, with their counterparts in countries all over the world, and to build international civil society support for the end of Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza.

Kia Ora Gaza is part of this international coalition – facilitating New Zealand involvement in the last two Freedom Flotillas to Gaza. A new FFC website for the Solidarity with Gaza Fishers campaign is due to be launched later this week. Watch this space.

 

Here is the logo for the international Solidarity with Gaza Fishers campaign (created by graphic designers in Gaza).

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