(GAZA COASTAL WATERS) 10th September 2008 - An Israeli military gunboat rammed an unarmed Palestinian fishing vessel today at high speeds. The gunboat smashed through the upper hull of the fishing boat, careened over the top, and landed on the other side.
Extensive damage was caused by the impact to the fishing boat. The hull
was badly damaged, and virtually the entire deck area, all the equipment
on it, and the canopy above the deck were severely damaged. Unusually, all
of the crew happened to be in the cabin or at the fore at the time. Had
they been on deck they would have had little chance of survival.
Via a megaphone, the Israeli military aboard the gunboat then made the
threat that: "When the internationals leave Gaza, you will all be made to
Human rights observers from the International Solidarity Movement and from
the Free Gaza Movement have recently been accompanying Gazan Fishermen
during their work. The fishermen are constantly harassed, threatened and
attacked by the State of Israel, in flagrant violation of international
law and maritime law. Israel has been attempting to impose an illegal
"no-go" area 6 miles off Gaza's coast through employment of lethal force
against unarmed fishing boats. However, and this is not unusual, today's
attack happened within the so-called "permitted" 6-mile area.
The ISM regards the project of accompanying unarmed Palestinian fishermen
as a long term commitment. Some of the human rights observers currently
undertaking this work are long-term volunteers who will be in Gaza for the
indefinite future. More long-term volunteers are expected to bolster their
number within the next few weeks.
Please TAKE ACTION and CALL:
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
tel: +972 2 530 3111
fax: +972 2 530 3367
Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations
tel: +1 212 499 5510
fax: +1 212 499 5515
DEMAND that Israel stop using deadly force to intimidate unarmed
Palestinian fishermen operating within Gaza's coastal waters!
For More Information, Please Contact:
(Gaza) Donna Wallach, +972 59 883 6420 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(Gaza) Andrew Muncie, +972 59 883 6309 / email@example.com
For photos of the damage, see: