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Dagelijks archief 16 augustus 2015

Samidoun: Israeli Minister and U.S. Guantanamo commander urge torture of Muhammed Allan, Palestinian prisoners

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the right-wing, racist, U.S. imperialist and Zionist attacks on the lives and rights of Palestinian political prisoners, and the threat and actual use offorce-feeding torture to suppress prisoners’ hunger strikes for justice and freedom.

Israeli Minister of Immigration and Absorption, Zeev Elkin, told Channel 10 that “The State of Israel can’t allow itself to be held hostage to hunger strikes by prisoners because today it’s one prisoner and tomorrow it will be others,” Elkin said. “Today it’s a prisoner in administrative detention and tomorrow it will be someone who was sentenced to jail after a fair trial.”

Elkin clearly admits that there is nothing fair or just about being imprisoned without charge or trial in administrative detention – the condition of hunger striker Muhammed Allan, currently comatose and at risk of death after 62 days of hunger strike – and makes the ludicrous claim that Israeli military courts are any such alternative.

However, the positing of Allan, a comatose man, a lawyer with no recourse to legal mechanisms to achieve justice, held arbitrarily without charge or trial, shackled to a hospital bed in intensive care under armed guard, threatened with force-feeding and denied access to doctors as “holding Israel hostage” is a horrific reversal of facts. Allan is being held hostage by the Israeli state with all of its forces: the military, courts, political and medical apparatus, along with nearly 6,000 other Palestinian political prisoners.

And yet, this statement reveals the strength and power of Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, that it exposes the injustice at the heart of the colonial project in Palestine and reveals a firm dedication to seeking justice that truly frightens those who seek to rule over the indigenous people of occupied Palestine through ethnic cleansing, apartheid, mass incarceration and genocide.

Elkin is all of the above – one of the primary authors of the law which prohibits Israelis from advocating the boycott of products produced in West Bank settlements and a proud advocate of the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza. “This is our land, and it’s our right to apply sovereignty over it. Regardless of the world’s opposition, it’s time to do in Judea and Samaria what we did in [East] Jerusalem and the Golan.” A settler himself, Elkin called for genocide in Gaza, “a thorough cleaning of Gaza.”

That Elkin holds such a position is no surprise, as the Israeli state was founded 67 years ago on the dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian refugees, the indigenous people of the land and the imposition of a Zionist settler colonial project over the land and people of Palestine.

Elkin’s comments come hand in hand with that of another official representative of a settler colonial state based on the dispossession and genocide of indigenous people: U.S. Colonel Michael Bumgarner, former commander of the Guantanamo military base on U.S.-occupied Cuban territories, where 780 international captives, detained and abducted from around the world by U.S. forces, were held without charge or trial for years.

Bumgarner, who presided over the torturous force-feeding of dozens of prisoners in the military camp via nasogastric tube, labels the torture of hunger striking detainees as “a matter of discipline within your facility.” He specifically warns against prisoners “[thinking] they were influencing national decisions by their behavior.” Bumgarner’s statement comes at the same time that the U.S. is attempting to prevent the release of a cleared, innocent man in Guantanamo – Tariq Ba Odah – on hunger strike since February 2007 and tortured by force-feeding since that time.

It must be noted that force-feeding for U.S. prisoners in California on hunger strike in 2013 – disproportionately Black and other men of color, pushed into the prison system in a manifestation of systematic racism and oppression – was also “legitimized” by a U.S. court, despite the clear international consensus that force-feeding is cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment amounting to torture. As U.S. empire kills and destroys in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria, it also kills and destroys in Ferguson, New York, Waller County, Cleveland and Baltimore, targeting Black life and sparking resurgent resistance.

The reality is that Palestinian hunger strikers are using the only tool they have to push back against their colonizer and occupier, their bodies, to not only influence “national” decisions, but the international political scene. Palestinian hunger strikers are, like the Irish hunger strikers who put their bodies on the line against British colonialism (the creator of administrative detention in Palestine), a voice of conscience to the world, freedom fighters for justice. As Khader Adnan said, addressing Muhammed Allan, “Today you are representing not only our people, you are representing all human beings in the world who love freedom and dignity. You are now an advocate not only for Palestinians, you are for everyone.”

Elkin, Bumgarner and their ilk, on the other hand, are the voices of repression, racism, colonialism and dehumanization. Torture, force feeding and mass imprisonment are tools of Zionism and U.S. imperialism to preserve colonial rule and attempt to destroy the resistance of the people. Muhammed Allan – and the Palestinian liberation struggle he represents now – stands against these forces. His struggle is indeed “for everyone,” in the words of Ghassan Kanafani, “for every revolutionary… as a cause of the exploited and oppressed masses in our era.”

(Source / 16.08.2015)

Barzilai hospital bars doctor’s visit to Allan

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The administration of the Israeli Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon on Sunday barred the visit of the Palestinian doctor Hani Abdin to the hunger striker Muhammad Allan whose health has seriously deteriorated as a result of his 61-day hunger strike.

“The administration of Barzilai hospital prevented Dr. Abdin from visiting Allan,” Yassin Subeh, an activist who is maintaining vigil inside the hospital, said, adding: “Dr. Abdin arrived in the hospital on Sunday morning with a number of Arab MPs in the Israeli parliament (Knesset). They met the hospital director and the medical staff responsible for monitoring Allan’s health status before he was informed of the visit ban decision.”

“A state of anger prevailed among the sit-inners inside the hospital after the doctor had left,” Subeh elaborated.

The Israeli Occupation Authorities had earlier allowed a Palestinian doctor to visit Allan who has been in a coma since Friday after a sudden deterioration in his health condition.

The Palestinian commission of detainees’ and ex-detainees’ affairs clarified that a meeting was held between a number of Arab MPs in the Knesset and Barzilai hospital director. The latter has allowed the Palestinian doctor to visit Allan in order to check on his health status.

(Source / 16.08.2015)

Palestinian prisoners start hunger strikes in solidarity with Allan

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Two Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons on Sunday began hunger strikes in solidarity with Palestinian prisoner Mohammad Allan who has been on hunger strike more than 60 days.The family of prisoner Samir al-Issawi, who is being held in Israel’s Jalbou jail, told Ma’an that their son had begun a hunger strike, while the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said that Mohammad al-Aqraa, in Ella prison has also started one.Al-Issawi is one of a number of Palestinian prisoners who was freed as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011 only to be detained again afterward.Allan, a 31-year-old lawyer from southern Nablus, went on hunger strike two months ago to protest his administrative detention — internment without trial or charge — which Israel has held him in since November.His case has prompted fears that Israel will go ahead with a controversial new law passed in the Knesset last month allowing them to force feed hunger striking prisoners.Palestinians in Israeli prisons regularly go on hunger strike to protest conditions, particularly those held in administrative detention.

(Source / 16.08.2015)

One Palestinian’s fight for justice is inspiration for all

One Palestinian's fight for justice is inspiration for all

Abu Nadeem (centre) has sold his livelihood to fight for his son’s memory

One Palestinian’s fight for justice is inspiration for all

Comment: Abu Nadeem found evidence showing his son died by an Israeli bullet. That work led to a court case. His story is an example to all, says Said Arikat.

On Nakba day last year, two boys were among hundreds of Palestinians demonstrating outside the notorious Ofer prison, near Beituniya, where Israel has mistreated generations of Palestinians. Their names were Nadeem Nowara, 17, and Mohammad Abu Dhaher, 16.

Note the past tense. In the space of just over an hour on that fateful day in May 2014, both boys would be killed as Israeli soldiers responded to the demonstrations with deadly force. Unknown to the soldiers, however, at least seven cameras were recording the events.

The footage captured the death, frame by frame, of Nadeem Nowarah, from the moment a soldier loads and fires his gun to the soldier’s apparent reaction to the event.

Six hours of raw, unedited video distributed by the children’s rights advocacy group Defence for Children International, and reviewed by many media outlets, show how the boys’ deaths were 73 minutes apart.

According to CNN’s Ivan Watson, CNN’s cameras were trained on an Israeli soldier who shot at the crowd.

“At the precise moment when Nowarah was shot,” Watson says, “CNN’s camera was rolling, filming an Israeli soldier shooting his rifle at the Palestinians and then demonstrators carrying the mortally wounded teenager to the ambulance.”

The story of Nadeem is commonly heroic for Palestinians. His father’s reaction was similarly heroic, but uncommon: he used the Israeli legal system to fight back.

Siam Nowarah (or Abu Nadeem as he likes to be called) is the man who single-handedly took on Israel, and the might of its legal system, unfazed by attempts to intimidate him.

It is one thing to read Nadeem’s story, and another to hear his father tell it in striking forensic detail, showing the videos he collected of the killing of his son – how he was shot in the chest, fell forward and then rolled on his back with his backpack slung on his shoulder.

He does this in pursuit of bringing his son’s killer to justice.

I saw Nadeem’s unclothed body, his chest split open and unevenly re-stitched, his torn clothes thrown into a bin, his backpack.Abu Nadeem.

Last Thursday at a gathering in Washington, Abu Nadeem told a group of Americans and Palestinians with passionate energy how he received a call from the morgue at Ramallah hospital telling him to collect his son’s body.

“I am a simple man, who was not involved in politics – too busy to pay much attention to anything outside my family and businesses,” said Abu Nadeem, a barber who owned two shops and provided well for his family.

“In shock, and disbelief, I saw Nadeem’s unclothed body, his chest had been split open and unevenly re-stitched, his torn clothes thrown into a bin, his backpack beside him,” he told the stunned group.

He saw the entry wound of the bullet that killed his son, then saw the point from which the bullet exited his back. And then examining the backpack, he found the bullet – something that had been overlooked by everyone else.

He knew he had crucial evidence.

Abu Nadeem buried his son the following day, and promised to dedicate his life to determining who killed him, and how.

He knew Israel would say, as it always does, that it does not use live ammunition on protesters. Indeed, Israel did that very thing the next day. “During that demonstration that was extremely violent, the Israeli Defence Force used crowd-control methods and riot-dispersal means to prevent and control the overflow of the violence,” said Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli army.

Abu Nadeem says he has the bullet to show which “dispersal methods” were used.

One month after Nadeem’s body was buried, it was exhumed and examined by American, Danish and Israeli pathologists to the horror and disapproval of relatives, local community and even the Palestinian Authority. But crucially, the second examination recorded the exit wound.

From the videos he had collected, Abu Nadeem identified a soldier who allegedly fired the fatal shot, and footage of him allegedly celebrating afterwards. He had the post-mortem results, he had the bullet.

“It took all my energy, and all I’ve got; I sold my businesses, I sold my car, but I kept my promise to my son,” the grieving father said.

With Abu Nadeem’s evidence, 22-year-old border police officer Ben Derie was charged with manslaughter and placed under house arrest. A hearing has been scheduled for mid-September 2015 in Jerusalem District Court.

Abu Nadeem had to sell his businesses and car to continue his fight in Israeli courts. A fund for Derie’s defence has so far reached $100,000 through donations.

As we wade through the frustration and the pain of this case, Abu Nadeem stands as hero to his people. He has shown Palestinians that you can fight Israel in its courts and manage an indictment against the occupiers of their land.

What happens next is in the hands of that court system.

(Source / 16.08.2015)

Did Egypt’s democracy die with my brother in Rabaa?

Never a member of organised religious or political groups, Amir Bedier was in Rabaa to protest against Egypt’s military takeover

Two years ago today, my brother Amir was one of more than 1,100 protesters killed in Rabaa Square in Cairo, Egypt. He was shot in the neck by a high-calibre sniper rifle, but the government claimed he died of “natural causes”.

Two years later, no one has been investigated, arrested or tried for the Rabaa Square massacre, which Human Rights Watch called the “worst unlawful mass killings” in modern Egyptian history. The evil we witnessed, the images we saw, and the testimonies we heard still haunt us to this day.

A lot has happened in our family in the two years since my brother Amir was killed by Egyptian security forces. The younger of his two daughters, Rodayna, started pre-school, my wife and I had a beautiful daughter named Maryam, and I have two new nephews, both named after Amir. But most notably, our beloved mother lost her battle with breast cancer, and she was laid to rest this past April. Even in her final hours, the mention of Amir’s name brought tears to her eyes.

Since the Rabaa massacre, government repression and brutality have continued unabated. Since the military coup of July 2013, over 3,200 have been killed, more than 15,000 injured, and over 41,000 political activists jailed, with hundreds receiving death sentences in sham trials.

A good man

Human Rights Watch (HRW) carried out a year-long investigation of the events of Rabaa and produced a 195-page report, All According to Plan. Their findings suggest that government-perpetrated Rabaa violence constitutes possible crimes against humanity, and that senior Egyptian officials, including current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, authorised the dispersal. The atrocities were carried out by Egyptian security forces who employed ground troops, helicopters, tanks, bulldozers, thugs and snipers to attack and open fire on demonstrators, including women and children, who had been camped out for over 45 days protesting the coup.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of these systematic crimes, not a single official has been held accountable.

My brother Amir was a good man. He was honest, kind and always sought to help others. He was religiously observant, but not judgmental, and was never a part of any organised religious or political movement.

Amir was committed to the 25 January 2011 Egyptian Revolution and worked hard to protect it. From the 2011 revolution to the Rabaa sit-in, he was one of the unsung heroes, who peacefully protested against military rule, protected the revolution and supported justice and democratic reforms.

Protesting the coup

After President Mohamed Morsi was forcibly removed from power by the military on 3 July 2013, Amir joined the encampment at Rabaa Square to protest against the military takeover. He told me that he believed the coup had erased all of the democratic and political advancements Egyptians had made since 2011. He lamented the fact that five different free and fair elections and referendums were overturned in one fell swoop.

Like many of the protesters in Rabaa, Amir was never a member of the Muslim Brotherhood; he never spoke on stage or took an official role in the encampment. He spent his days at his accounting firm and his nights at Rabaa Square, with thousands of other Egyptians, calling for the restoration of democracy and an end to military rule.

I was in Cairo at the time of his murder for a family vacation and to attend another brother’s wedding. The city was quiet and felt empty, and Tahrir Square – the site of the largest 2011 protests – was filled with security forces. The only place that felt alive was Rabaa Square. When we visited the encampment two days before the tragic dispersal, it felt like the entire country was there. The square and all the side streets leading to it were packed with hundreds of thousands of people.

On 14 August, I woke up to TV news of military and police forces beginning the dispersal of Rabaa. Amir had been there since 5am, helping to protect and move the injured. Rabaa was under siege – cut off from the rest of the country – and few were able to enter or leave. We tried to reach Amir by phone, but all communication was shut down. Eyewitnesses told me Amir was shot in the neck by a sniper fire from a helicopter or a rooftop around 2pm near the Rabaa stage.

Because it was not safe to exit the square due to sniper fire, volunteers had to transport his body to a field hospital inside Rabaa where he died minutes later. Security forces later torched this same hospital with injured patients inside. Due to the siege, my family and I were in the dark about what happened to Amir until the next morning. Amir’s wife eventually found his dead body on the street in Rabaa, but due to an imposed curfew, my family and I were prevented from retrieving him.

With the help of a neighbour, my sister-in-law carried her husband’s body a few blocks to a makeshift morgue set up at the Al-Iman Mosque. That’s where I found Amir’s body on 15 August, among 350 bodies I personally counted.

When my parents and I arrived at Al-Iman Mosque, we were in disbelief. The mosque was wall-to-wall with dead bodies. It was a hot, summer day and, with no refrigeration, the stench of death filled the air. There were rows upon rows of dead bodies, all covered in white sheets. To find Amir’s body, we had to uncover the faces of some 50 corpses.

We knew Amir’s body was there, but nothing can prepare you for seeing the body of your dead brother or son. When we found Amir’s body our hearts sank and my mother fell to her knees next to him, her eyes swelling with tears. Her cherished son lay dead in front of her. He had a large hole in his neck, which appeared to be the result of a single high-calibre bullet.

Before we could bury my brother, we were required to obtain an official death certificate in order to remove his body from the mosque. The official death certificate my parents were given to sign stated that Amir had died of “natural causes”.

Unnatural death

In an apparent effort to systematically minimise casualty figures, the regime kept dead bodies hostage until family members accepted death certificates stating that murdered protesters had died of “natural causes”. While many people were pressured to accept this lie, my parents were determined otherwise.

The next steps were to file a police report, get a case number, hire a medical examiner to examine my brother, and sign the death certificate with the real cause of death. This ordeal took an entire day and required the help of a dozen or so people, including lawyers. Sadly, the majority of the victims did not have these types of resources to challenge the phony death certificates.

My family and I firmly believe that Amir and his fellow protesters were intentionally killed by Egyptian security forces who were following the orders of General Sisi, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, and their administration. They were killed because they opposed military rule and supported freedom and democracy.

Two years after the dark days of the Rabaa Massacre, Egyptian government repression continues unchecked. The current military-backed regime came to power by purging the Muslim Brotherhood, and has spent these last two years eliminating any remaining political, academic and media opposition and dissent.

Unfortunately, the regime’s repressive policies are pushing some youth to give up on democracy and adopt violent extremism. Unless democracy and justice are restored, Egypt will likely continue to see darker days ahead.

The international community can no longer ignore the crimes of the current Egyptian regime. They must hold the criminals of the Rabaa massacre accountable, demand the military withdraw from politics, and support national reconciliation efforts that do not exclude any pro-democracy groups or movements.

(Source / 16.08.2015)

Israeli authorities confiscate land adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – The Israeli authorities on Sunday morning confiscated a tract of land adjacent to the eastern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque near the Golden gate, Palestinian sources told Ma’an.Jawad Siyam, the director of Wadi Hilweh Information Center in occupied Easy Jerusalem, told Ma’an that Jerusalem inspectors from the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority stormed and confiscated land belonging to the al-Husseini and the al-Ansari families.

The nature authority inspectors were escorted byIsraeli troops during the confiscation, Siyam said.Siyam added that security guards from a private security company installed barbed wire fence around the land.The Palestinian Authority’s governor of Jerusalem and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Adnan al-Husseini also told Ma’an that the Israeli forces and inspectors stormed the land without prior notice. He highlighted that the tract of land measures more than 7000 square meters (1.7 acres).
A lawyer representing the Palestinian owners is taking the case to the Israeli court in an attempt to stop the confiscation, the minister added.One of the owners of the land from the al-Husseini familytold Ma’an that he believes the Israelis plan to confiscate the land for settlement expansion.
In effort to gain and maintain a Jewish majority in the city, Jewish residents frequently take over Palestinian buildings with the protection of Israeli security, particularly in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the Israeli rights organization the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
The majority of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition has vowed to expand settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, with many opposing a future independent Palestinian state.Earlier this year the Israeli government allocated $25 million for settlement expansion in Jerusalem.
(Source / 16.08.2015)

Arab League to hold extraordinary meeting on Tuesday after Libya’s request for action on ISIS

Ashour Bourashed, Libya's delegate to the Arab League, looks on during Monday's emergency meeting (AFP) (photo: )

Ashour Bourashed, Libya’s delegate to the Arab League, looks on during Monday’s emergency meeting

The Arab League will hold an extraordinary meeting Tuesday to discuss a Libyan request for Arab countries to take action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Sirte, a diplomat said Sunday.

The internationally recognized Libyan government based in the country’s east asked for the meeting on Saturday urging Arab countries to “adopt measures to confront” the jihadist ISIS group.

Later that day, it issued a statement calling for Arab air strikes against the militants, but it was not clear if it submitted a formal demand to the Arab League and whether the bloc would discuss such action.

Tuesday’s meeting will be held by permanent delegates to the Arab bloc, which is headquartered in Cairo, Jordan’s ambassador to Egypt and Arab League representative Bisher Khasawneh told reporters.

ISIS militants had seized control of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in June, gaining another foothold in the chaotic country torn between rival governments.

Battles to oust the jihadists raged since Tuesday, although the fighting was reported to have subsided on Sunday.

The militants beheaded 12 local militiamen who had been battling them in the east of the city and hung their bodies on crosses, official news agency LANA reported on Saturday.

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates had conducted a few air strikes in Libya over the past few years, targeting ISIS militants and militias opposed to the internationally recognized government.

(Source / 16.08.2015)

Petition to arrest Netanyahu on UK visit gains momentum

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on August 2, 2015. ©AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on August 2, 2015

More than 60,000 people in the UK have so far signed the petition calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes against Palestinians when he pays an official visit to Britain next month.

The online petition, uploaded on August 7 to the UK parliament’s official website, demands the apprehension of Netanyahu for the slaughter of thousands of Palestinians during the Israeli military’s 50-day military war against the Gaza Strip last year. The petition has garnered 60,454 signatures as of Sunday morning.

“Under international law, he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014,” the petition says, referring to the 65-year-old Israeli premier’s scheduled September visit.

Palestinian children play in front of the rubble of buildings destroyed in Israel’s 2014 war in the village of Khuzaa, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on June 15, 2015

After 10,000 signatures, the British government must respond to the petition, and after 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the parliament. The deadline for signing the petition is February 7, 2016.

However, the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs said in a statement earlier this week that the petition has “no real meaning,” adding, “Bilateral ties between Britain and Israel are closer than ever before.”

Israel unleashed its military onslaught on the impoverished Gaza Strip in early July 2014. The offensive ended on August 26, 2014, with a truce that went into effect following indirect negotiations between representatives from Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and Israeli regime in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, lost their lives in Israel’s war. Over 11,100 others – including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people – also sustained injuries.

(Source / 16.08.2015)

Iraqi PM cuts several top government positions

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has cut 11 cabinet posts and eliminated the vice president’s office

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated across the country to protest financial and administrative corruption

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has cut 11 cabinet posts as part of a wide-ranging reform package, his office said in a statement on Sunday.

Abadi also eliminated the vice president’s office, scrapped three deputy premier positions and four ministries, and merged four more ministries with others.

As part of the shake-up, he removed the human rights ministry, the ministry of state for women’s affairs, the ministry of state for provincial and parliamentary affairs, and a third ministry of state.

Abadi combined the science and technology ministry with higher education, environment with health, municipalities with reconstruction and housing, and tourism and antiquities with culture.

The sweeping reforms were borne out of a plan on 9 August after thousands of Iraqis protested for government reforms and a crackdown on corruption.

Amid tight security, tens of thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated across the country to protest the financial and administrative corruption rampant in Iraqi ministries since 2003 and the lack of the basic services as the temperature exceeded 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).

The country’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has also called on the government institute a wide-ranging reform package.

Abadi’s proposal includes aiming to limit financial and administrative corruption, relieving the burden on the Iraqi treasury and providing some money to pay the delayed salaries of governmental employees.

(Source / 16.08.2015)

ISM: 1300 attacks on Gaza fishermen since the end of last year’s assault

IDF-640x330

Two days ago, on Sunday night at 3 AM, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have kidnapped fishermen Mohamed Ismail Sharafi, 34 years old, and Mohamed Saidi, 22 years old, in Gaza City waters.According to the testimony of the other fishermen that where working with them the night of the attack, around 10 boats, one of the two fishermen was injured by live ammunition before being kidnapped.

The aggression took place at 5 miles off shore and their boat was also taken to Ashdod.

Two weeks ago Ahmed Sharafi, Mohamed’s brother, was shot in his back with live ammunition while working with his father.

Since the end of the last Zionist massacre against Gaza there have been 1312 reported attacks against the fishermen.

Since then, 22 boats have been stolen; 26 fishermen have been injured; one fisherman, Tawfiq Abu Riela, has been assassinated; 28 boats have been disabled by bullet fire; 2 big fishing boats have been sunken by rocket fire, one in Deir El Balah at 300m from the coast and one in Gaza City at 5 miles; 51 fishermen have been kidnapped while working and 3 fishermen remain prisoners until now.

Those facts, among other practices of the occupation forces, have caused the quantity of fish caught to decrease from 1600 tons the year before the massacre to 1000 tons the year after. At the same time the number of fishermen who work in the Gaza Strip has decreased from 3000 to 1000 and the fishermen who keep working have seen how their monthly income decreased from 2000 ILS to the actual 100 ILS.

This last year, just in Beach Camp, 50 children of fishermen have left the school in order to work carrying flour sacks at the doors of UNRWA for 1 ILS each sack.

It’s becoming common that the fishermen families have to choose between their children and decide which ones will go to school and which ones will have to work in order to support the family.

In this moment there are 900 children of fishermen in Gaza City, and 1700 in all the Strip, that should start the academic year in 20 days and whose parents can’t afford to buy them the school materials.

(Source / 16.08.2015)