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Saturday, 24 April 2010


Fisherman shot in the head by Israeli navy while fishing inside the permitted zone.

[ISM] talked to Mr Gora’ani’s brother Nafiz who was anxiously waiting in front of the ICU with a relative and another two fishermen for news about Hazem.

Nafiz was not present when the incident happened and he gave us an account by their brother who was fishing with Hazem and a third fisherman in a small hassaka boat this morning.

They were fishing well inside the Palestinian waters, less than three nautical miles away from the shore with another hassaka, when they were approached by the Israeli speed boat who attempted to kidnap them and take them to Ashkelon.

They panicked and tried to sail towards the coast. In response the Israeli soldiers opened a barrage of fire which critically injured Hazem. A collegue who was present in the hospital told us that there are a number of bullet holes in the hassaka.

A group of Gazan fisherman whom ISM talked with recently told us that Israeli soldiers fire at the fishermen so frequently that incidents are rarely reported if they did not result in serious injury. Only a few weeks ago two hassakas were kidnapped by the Israeli soldiers and destroyed after being taken to Ashkelon, whilst the fishermen were being interrogated and later released.

B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights watchdog group, details restrictions on fishing here. If you Google B'Tselem and fishing there are videos and other information available, also.

Many of us enjoy fishing, have fisher folk as friends, have lost people to the sea. Most of us know that those who like to fish, or who have to fish for a living are usually hardworking, often hard living, individuals, who do not really expect this. Except if you live in Gaza, of course.

Just in case you don't trust a story about kidnapping, B'Tselem, which, I repeat, is an Israeli Human Rights group, has written this at the bottom of their article on fishing rights:
To ensure these rights are not violated, the government of Israel must make public the open-fire regulations relating to the waters off the coast of Gaza, immediately cease the arbitrary detention and abuse of fishermen, and remove the harsh restrictions on fishing. My emphasis.
Any of your family ever have to follow a hobby or make a living under such conditions?


Two years ago Israel’s racial profiling policy made headlines when a member of an American dance troupe with a Muslim-sounding name was forced to dance at the airport to prove he was who he claimed.
This is actually a quote from a news story about two Palestinian brothers who have Israeli citizenship who were subject to Israel's policy of
. . . carry[ing] out its own security checks at [foreign] airports [the countries of which] fail . . . to supervise them [Israel] and prefer. . . to “ignore their discriminatory nature and the human rights violations committed on their own soil”.
The airport in question is JFK in New York.

The brothers were part of a larger group of insurance agents who were "in a party of 17 Israeli insurance agents on a two-week business trip to Canada and New York in 2007." Their Jewish counterparts went through in minutes, but the two brothers were under constant supervision, and chastised and humiliated when they went to the toilet without permission. They are Israeli citizens, and they obviously work in the insurance field within Israel.

They "won 8,000 US dollars in damages from Israel’s national carrier, El Al, after a court found that their treatment by the company’s security staff at a New York airport had been "abusive and unnecessary."

Palestinians make up a fifth of the Israeli population, that is, 20%. In most developed nations in the world, particularly the western ones, the rights of such a large minority group would be fiercely defended by most with liberal leanings, and in most western countries there would be rules in place to protect them. I guess one has to determine whether Israel is a western-leaning democracy with fair rule for all, or not, and also question where its ultimate power comes from.

The article was reproduced in Ma'an News Agency (West Bank based), originally written by Jonathan Cook
a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. A version of this article originally appeared in The National (, published in Abu Dhabi.
I first read this article at the Angry Arab News Service. It is an interesting and short read, particularly regarding the flaunting of immunity offered internationally to many Israeli officials, keeping in mind the recent Mossad assassination of a senior Hamas official on Emirati soil. Foreign passports were forged and used at the time.
this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr