Israel announced yesterday that it would return 65 confiscated fishing boats to fishermen in the Gaza Strip, the Wafa news agency reported.
This comes after NGOs Gisha – Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights filed a petition on behalf of Gaza fisherman Abdel Ma’ati Habil whose boat was confiscated by the Israeli occupation’s navy in September 2016.
Palestinian fishermen and human rights groups go to court to try and force Israeli authorities to return *65* fishing boats seized and confiscated in the Gaza Strip's territorial waters. Because Gaza's not occupied, right?https://t.co/Cb8mlodsru
— Ben White (@benabyad) May 21, 2019
The petition was submitted after the Israeli military agreed to return Habil’s boat by land and at his own expense, without mention of what happened with the fishing equipment which was on board when it was confiscated.
Gisha, Adalah, and Al-Mezan demanded that the Supreme Court order the Israeli military to immediately and unconditionally return Halabi’s fishing boat and equipment, as well as all other boats seized by the occupation belonging to Gaza fishermen.
1/ Following petition by Gisha, @AdalahEnglish & @AlMezanCenter, Israel declares it will return 65 boats it seized from Gaza fishermen. Israel routinely seizes boats from fishermen and holds them for months, even years, without any legal authority and in violation of IHL.
— Gisha גישה مسلك (@Gisha_Access) May 22, 2019
Gisha Attorney Muna Haddad said:
“Israel routinely seizes boats from fishermen in Gaza and holds them for months, even years, without any legal authority and in violation of international law.”
“While Israel claims it seizes boats following violations of its restrictions on the fishing zone – restrictions which Israel imposes and changes arbitrarily – this does not justify such severe harm to the livelihood and property of fishermen and their families.”
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)