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Two fishing boats shot off Gaza coast

21 June 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

At around 9am on June 21, two fishing boats were attacked by the Israeli Navy, with bullets piercing both engines, rendering them unusable.

The first boat was shot at in the motor, at the rear end and, when the 4-man crew took cover at the front of the boat, away from the shots directed at the motor, the front of the boat was fired upon.

Yaser Baker is one of the four fishermen who were aboard the first boat which was shot. “We were at around two and a half miles out to sea when they shot at our engine and it broke. We stopped the boat and all moved to the front, away from the engine so that we wouldn’t get hit. Then they shot at the front, right at us, the bullets just missing our bodies and one landed right by my leg.”

A second boat, manned by Mohammed Bakri Sabir came to assist the first, but was also attacked, both in the engine and the front of the boat, where the crew was taking cover.

Aboard the second boat were three fishermen and two of their children, aged nine and ten years old.

The boats managed to escape when around twenty other local fishing boats surrounded them and escorted them back to shore as the nine-year-old feigned an injury.  “He had to play dead,” Baker explained, “it was the only way we could get them to stop firing.”