The following is just proof of the bully tactics of the Israelis. It is penny ante theft and harassment which serves no on any good, but results in a lot of unnecessary hardship for simple men of the sea, the original Fishers of Galilee. These are not spies or criminals or terrorists, just men trying to make a living and feed their families under increasingly difficult circumstances.
Not only is the loss of equipment a financial hardship making work more dangerous, it is also stressful to never know what will happen each day when you go out to work. They are put into a terrible situation being asked to spy. To do so even just to stop the harassment with nothing to report they risk their own lives and that of their families at the hands of some rather unpleasant people.
To not comply, they risk constant problems with the bullies next door. And always, the families go hungry and Gaza starves without their scant contributions to the protein supply of a hungry people.
Being forced to strip naked and swim and the insult to their modesty is, of course, intended to embarrass and demean them in their own eyes and that of their companions. Or is it because those Israelis, almost all sexual deviants, have an interest in the build of those lovely Palestinian men?
Wednesday 20th of May 2009
Some hours before hundreds of Palestinian fishermen and supporters demonstrated in the sea, Khalil Abdullah Al Najar and his brother Ibrahim Abdullah Al Najar were abducted off
Khalil has been abducted again along with other 2 of his brothers and one of his cousins on the 25th of March while fishing in a shanshula boat. The 4 fishermen were later released and after several days and the intervention of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, the shanshula boat was also returned but without the motor.
Tuesday 26th of May 2009
According to their testimony, Nahed Hassan Abdel Rahman Hassouna (41) and Mohammed Abdel Rahman Hassouna (45), at about 6.30 am, while they were fishing about
The 2 fishermen were ordered to take off their clothes, jump in the water and swim to the bigger Daboura gunboat. When they arrived they were handcuffed and blindfolded by the Israeli soldiers who took them along with their hassaka to
According to the testimony of one of the 2 fishermen, the Israeli security officer asked them to collaborate with the Israeli military, to become spies. The fishermen refused. The reply of one of them was that he doesn't know anything and he only works from the sea to his house. So the Israelis accused them to have reached the Egyptian borders, something that the fishermen denied. Later, at about 6.45 pm they were released but their hassaka remains stolen along with the paddle.
The fishermen told the ISM Gaza Strip volunteers that this is the worst year for them ever and that the only thing they want is to survive and live with security.
The same night of 26th of May, at about 11 pm, another brother of the Najar family, Youssef Abdullah Al Najar ( who was also abducted on the 25th of March ) was attacked again by the Israeli Navy. According to his father Abdullah Khalil Abdullah Al Najar, the boat owner, Youssef was fishing in a felouka boat (see photo) when he was approached by an Israeli gunboat which started to make circles around the fishing boat.
The waves made the felouka turn upside down and the fisherman lost part of his equipment: a 9hp 5 KW generator, which cost when is used 5,000
Wednesday 27th of May 2009
The next morning, approximately in the same area, another felouka (see photo) was attacked in the same way, and was turned upside down, and the boat owner Jamal Bassel lost a 10hp 5KW generator that costs about 1,000 US $. Also 2 of his projector lights were damaged and it will cost him about 100 to 150
In another area, in northern Gaza Strip, Zaki Taroush (45) and his son Zayed Zaki Moustafa Taroush (17) were fishing at about
The Israeli soldiers told the Palestinian fishermen to go west. Zaki replied that they were fishing in an allowed area. But the Israeli soldiers ordered him to stop talking and go west. Zaki saw another hassaka forced to go west, with Jihad As Sultan and Mohammed Ahmed Abou Warda. Zaki was forced to paddle his hassaka for about an hour and a half till he reached a buoy marking the borders.
He was then forced to strip completely naked and then jump in the water and swim for about
He was then taken for interrogation and he recognized the same officer that has interrogated him before. [Zaki Taroush, with another of his sons, were abducted on the 13th of March. They were later released but their hassaka has been confiscated for almost 2 months, and it was returned a couple of weeks ago, along with 8 other hassakas, through the Karem Abou Salem crossing.
The fishermen had to pay about 150
Zaki Taroush was interrogated about an incident that happened on the 13th of April and the Israelis claim that it was an attack from the Palestinian armed resistance. It happened in the area that usually Zaki is fishing.
He told them that he wasn't there that day but they didn't believe him. He was trying to explain that he couldn't possibly be there because his hassaka was still "confiscated" by the Israeli Navy. The Israelis told him that he has to be responsible for his area and not to worry because they will protect him.
He replied that he can't give them information because that will make him spy for all of his life and finally he will be killed by the resistance. He cannot work for them and he has to work to bring food for 10 people at home.
They Israelis asked him to keep in touch with them. They asked for his mobile number, and said that he couldn't remember. Then they found his house number and they called and put him to speak with his other son. At about 7 o'clock they were all released.
Jihad As Sultan (46) had a very similar story to tell. The only difference is that he was accused to cross the Israeli borders. The Israelis shot the balloons that were holding his nets and he lost them, which makes a loss of 1,000 US $, but he estimates the total loss of his fishing property up to 5.000 US $.
He was also asked to work for the Israelis. They said that if he wants to work in this area he has to work for them. He was also given a vague sketch [see photo] showing roughly the areas that the Palestinian fishermen are allowed to fish.
While he was in custody he managed to see a lot of the nets stolen from the Gazan fishermen. It was the third time that Jihad was abducted by the Israeli Navy. The first time was 9 years ago and the second, last August.
Note: ISM Gaza Strip volunteers, in the evening of 28th of May, while they were heading to Sudaniya to meet the Taroush family, they witnessed Israeli gunboats open fire towards Palestinian fishing boats. The attack was obvious as the Israelis were also using tracer bullets. During the meeting with the fishermen, the attack has been intensified and the Israeli Navy used also shells.
Photos: Shadi Slman