Israel prevents all boats and fishing off the Gaza coast
Adding to the imprisonment effect mentioned in the previous post, new research by the Israeli human rights group B'tselem has found that Israel has forbidden all movement of boats and already beleaugered fisherman off Gaza's coast since June of 2006, an act that constitutes collective punishment for the capture of Gilad Shalit:
The prohibition has seriously harmed the fishing sector, which provides a livelihood for many residents of the Strip. Fishermen who violate the prohibition risk being shot at by Israeli Navy craft.
In addition to the use of gunfire, in recent months, Israeli forces have adopted a practice of harassing and humiliating the fishermen. B'Tselem learned of many cases in which Navy crews stopped fisherman in the open sea, ordered them under gunpoint to undress, jump into the cold water in their underwear, and swim to the Israeli vessel. The crew then took them to Ashdod Port for questioning. Following many hours, and sometime a full day, at the port, they were returned to their boat. In some cases, Israel returned the fisherman to the Gaza Strip via Erez Crossing.
In response to B'Tselem's inquiry, the IDF Spokesperson's Office stated that fishing off the coast of the Gaza Strip was restricted to six nautical miles (eleven kilometers) and that the restriction was imposed for security reasons. However, the fishermen who were apprehended by the Navy did not exceed the six-mile limit, and did not enter the northern and southern waters along the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian boats are prohibited.
Israel has the right and duty to protect its citizens from attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip, but its unofficial prohibition on fishing is unlawful inasmuch as it constitutes collective punishment.
(All pictures mine)