ISM Gaza | Fishing Under Fire
3 June 2009
The Palestinian International Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza, has organized a day of free medical treatment for the Gazan fishermen at the offices of the Tawfiq Cooperative of Fishermen – Gaza Strip. The Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC) provided the doctors, nurses and the medicines.
The situation of Palestinian fishermen is critical because of the siege imposed by Israel and Egypt. According to the Oslo accords the Palestinian fishermen were allowed to fish up to 20 n. miles from the coast, but these limits were gradually reduced by the Israeli Navy to 12, then 6 and now after the recent massacres, to 3 n. miles. In fact the Palestinian fishermen are facing attacks by the Israeli Navy even a few meters from the coast. Since the declaration of the “ceasefire” there has been at least 5 fishermen wounded in the sea, 5 more reportedly injured on the shore, 40 abductions of fishermen, 17 “confiscations” of fishing boats, dozens of fishing boats damaged, fishing equipment stolen, lost during the attacks, or damaged. So practically the Palestinian fishermen are not allowed to practice their profession. In the meantime the price of fuel is getting higher every day, because of the siege. Subsequently the Palestinian fishermen are financially ruined and cannot afford to pay for their health care and have to wait for initiatives like the one organized by the Palestinian International Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza and the UPMRC. `