Five Palestinian fishers seized by Israeli occupation forces

Photo: Rosa Schiano, January 2012

Five Palestinian fishermen were attacked and seized by Israeli occupation forces off the coast of Gaza on the morning of Tuesday, 21 February. As they sailed off the coast of northern Gaza near Beit Lahiya, Israeli occupation naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen and seized five.

Omran Saber Bakr, Mahmoud Saber Bakr, Abdullah Saber Bakr, Thabet Abdel-Razaq Bakr and Omar Mohammed Bakr were seized by occupation forces and taken to the port of Ashdod.

This is the latest in a series of attacks and arrests of Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, an element of the Israeli siege of Gaza that has strangled Palestinian economy, in particular the fishing industry. In 2016, 125 fishermen were arrested by Israeli forces and dozens of boats confiscated. While the vast majority of fishers were shortly released, they were frequently subject to physical injury and the confiscation, damage to or loss of their valuable fishing boats, at a time when fishers in Palestine have been economically devastated due to the Israeli occupation forces’ restriction of their fishing area.