The unarmed boats went to sea at dawn this morning, in an attempt to fish in their own water. Six international human rights workers from five different countries accompanied the fishermen in the hopes that their presence would deter the Israeli military from firing on the fishermen. In the past the Israeli military has shot and killed unarmed Palestinian fishermen for trying to fish in their own waters.
- Accompanying the fishermen are:
- Vittorio Arrigoni, Italy
- Georgios Karatzas, Greece
- Adam Qvist, Denmark
- Andrew Muncie, Scotland
- Donna Wallach, USA
- Darlene Wallach, USA
- The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Tel. +972 2 530 3111
- The British Embassy in Tel Aviv
- +972 3 725 1222
- The US Embassy in Tel Aviv
- +972 2 625 5755
For more information, please contact:
- (at sea, off Gaza coast) Vittorio Arrigoni, +972 598 826 516
- (at sea, off Gaza coast) Donna Wallach, +972598 836 420
- (Cyprus) Greta Berlin, +357 99 081 767 / email@example.com
- (Cyprus) Osama Qashoo, +357 97 793 595
"When at a distance, estimated by our fishing boat’s captain, of 7 nautical miles from the coast, we dropped our fishing nets and started fishing the Israeli warships rushed to reach our position.
"One of the warships positioned at a distance less than 200 metres alongside of our fishing boat, opened fire in our direction at least 4 times during the day. It was intimidating fire directed into the water, but some bursts almost touched the hull of our boat. A cannon shot almost reached us. Making attempt of obtaining a radio contact was useless. Soldiers on the Israeli warship ordered, with the use of megaphones, the area evacuation. And after that they were shooting. Sometimes they were shooting before having ordered. Once they shooted to our fishing nets and tried to damaged it sailing directly on them.
"Unfortunetely our big mistake was not having with us neither cameras nor video cameras that, together with megaphones to be used exactly like they do, I consider essential for our next fishing missions.
"Despite these intimidations the fishing was rich and profitable, we brought ashore quantity of fish ten times bigger than the usual Palestinians fishers standard."