Scottish activist films Israeli navy shooting at Gaza fishermen
Claims of 14 deaths in previous incidents
Billy Briggs, writing in Scotland Sunday Herald,
A Scottish human rights activist has filmed the Israeli navy firing machine guns at unarmed Palestinian fishing boats in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip. The footage, taken on September 6 by Andrew Muncie, who is from the Highlands, shows an Israeli gunboat engaging fishing boats while international observers hold their arms in the air and scream for them to stop firing.
Briggs reports that:
No-one was injured in the incident, but Palestinian fishermen claim 14 colleagues have been murdered at sea by the Israeli navy since the onset of an economic blockade imposed after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.
Israel says patrolling these waters is a vital security measure to stop weapons being smuggled into Gaza, but by its blockade, Israel controls the Palestinians’ food, fuel, aid, and ability to fish in their own territorial waters.
The Sunday Herald article states that:
According to the United Nations, the crisis has left the number of households in Gaza below the poverty line at an unprecedented 52%.
Gaza’s fishing industry has been hit particularly hard. Under the 1993 Oslo accords, Gazan fishermen were to be allowed 20 nautical miles out to sea. According to Oxfam, fishermen are now only allowed six miles out to sea – not far enough out to reach the schools of large fish – and risk being shot or arrested if they breach this limit.
But that’s not all Israel controls with its gunboats in Gaza’s maritime territory.