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Al Mezan Condemns IOF Killing of Fisherman in Gaza and Calls International Community to End the Siege and Protect Civilians

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26 September 2010 |Reference 78/2010

At approximately 9:30am on Friday 24 September 2010, Israeli naval vessels patrolling the Gaza sea opened fired on a Palestinian fishing boat carrying four fishermen; three brothers and a cousin from the Bakir family.
The fishing boat was about two kilometers from the coast of Beit Lahyia town in the North Gaza district.
As a result, one fisherman was killed.
Al Mezan condemns the attack on fishermen in Gaza waters.
This attack comes in the context of Israel’s enforcement of its illegal siege of Gaza, which must end without any delay.
The shooting occurred while the fishermen were in an area not more two kilometers inside the sea; i.
inside the fishing zone that had been determined and announced by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF).
According to IOF restrictions, fishermen can work inside a zone limited to three nautical miles from the cost and away from Gaza’s northern and southern borders.
As a result of the shooting, a fisherman, Mohammed Mansour Omar Bakir, 20, was injured in the right side of his chest.
His relatives who were on board of the boat with him waved to the Israeli gunboat that shot him and asked it to provide help to him, but their attempts were unsuccessful.
The fishermen hurried to the beach and found that an ambulance has reached the place.
The ambulance carried the injured to Kamal Odwan Hospital where he died soon after arrival.
The Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen and the killing of Bakir come amid a context of the Israeli violations of human rights and the international law in Gaza.
This new escalation comes as part of the IOF’s enforcement of its illegal siege on the Gaza Strip.
Part of the siege measures is embodied in limiting the fishing zone to three nautical miles west-wise and keeping fishermen away from the borders.
However, most of the IOF attacks on fishermen take place inside the zone in which fishermen are allowed to work.
The siege and the attacks on fishermen have caused violations of Palestinian fishermen’s rights and affected their living seriously.
Al Mezan has closely monitored the IOF’s declared easing of the siege measures, which have included increasing the number of trucks carrying consumer commodities to the Gaza Strip.
In a recent development, on Sunday 19 September 2010, the IOF allowed cars into the Strip for the first time since 2007.
However, these measures remain far away from a lifting of an illegal siege.
In fact, they mean entrenching the siege regime.
These measures represent an attempt to defuse the increasing international criticism.
IOF continue to prevent the entry of the construction materials, expect for a small number of humanitarian projects run by international organizations.
These materials are on the top of priorities to the people of Gaza, as tens of thousands of people have been forcibly displaced from their homes due to IOF demolitions over the past decade.
For the fourth consecutive year, people of the Gaza Strip are deprived of their right to adequate housing due to their inability to build new homes as a direct result of the lack of construction materials despite the demolition of thousands of homes and the needs created by the natural growth in population.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen and the killing of Bakir while he was fishing in Gaza sea.
Al Mezan asserts that Israel’s lack of willingness to act on its obligation to promptly and effectively investigate this attack and to bring its perpetrators to justice indicates the need for international investigation and accountability mechanisms that are capable of ensuring justice for victims and protection for civilians who live under Israel’s effective control.
Al Mezan emphasizes that the Israeli measures to ease the siege of Gaza fall short of correcting an illegal situation that violates civilians’ rights every day.
Al Mezan calls on the international community to take actions to lift the Israeli illegal siege and end the violations of international law associated with it.
Al Mezan expresses its strong concern by the continuous failure of the international community to take effective measures to protect the civilian population in occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
International community is called to act towards lifting the siege, which must be a step towards ending the prolonged occupation of the oPt.
Al Mezan reasserts its conviction that peace and stability cannot be achieved without ensuring respect for international law and human rights and protection for civilian throughout ensuring that violators are held accountable for their violations.