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Daily Gaza fishing flotilla blockaded by Israeli Navy, no fishing to supplement carefully measured aid starvation diet

Gaza fishermen being attacked by IDF gunboat with water cannon
The fishermen of Gaza are harassed daily by IDF gunships which shoot them outright when there are no Western witnesses present. The late Vittorio Arrigoni was one of the International Solidarity Movement who regularly accompanied fishing boats, forcing the Israelis to set aside their machine guns for water cannon when he was around. Of late activists have their own boat, the Oliva, to escort the fishing fleets. And today the Oliva was accompanied by another skiff commissioned by the Guardian. Their Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood tweeted the following adventure just now:

On boat heading out from Gaza port. Fishermen regularly fired on by Israeli military. Going to check.

Getting close to 3 mile limit for fishing. Israeli gunboat speeding towards us.

There are 7 boats in our group. 4 fishing boats, 2 press boats, 1 human rights group boat.

Israeli gunboat circling around. Siren sounding. Machine gun mounted at rear.

IDF coming very close. Sirens. Banking hard causing a lot of backwash for our small motor boat.

6 or 7 troops on bridge, all armed. We have cut our engines.

We are 2 or 2 and a half miles from shore so within fishing zone. IDF preventing us going further.

Phone signal going in and out. A 2nd IDF boat heading towards us.

Fishing boats are throwing lines. But very few fish this close to shore.

Guardian boat is flying under Barcelona FC flag….

Now 2 gunboats stopping us going further.

This is our GPS location: N31.5727176 and E034.37703. Can someone work out exactly how far we are from Gaza City?

Fishermen saying there are no fish. They want to go out another 50 metres. But that could provoke reaction. No boat willing to go first.

One fishing boat heading further out. But the guys are asking us (Guardian) to go in front for protection.

One IDF boat just circling our boats about 50m away. Other boat a bit further away.

A lot of resources devoted to a few tiny fishing boats.

Sea is calm today – except our little bit. Backwash creating lot of waves. They keep sounding siren. But we have all cut engines.

I’m told that the point of the IDF continually circling us is to create continuous waves and noise. Makes fishing harder.

One fishing boat just been swamped by backwash. They are giving up and going back to port.

One IDF boat appears to be heading away. The other coming closer.

Water canon military boat in distance. Maybe heading towards us. Hope not.

Both gunboats have moved off as water canon boat approaches.

Water canon boat maybe 200m away. Heading straight towards us. May have to put comms away for a bit.

Boats being water canoned. Very dangerous. The NGO boat almost went under.

Was mini hi-speed boat chase as we cut and run and the IDF chase.

IDF still firing on Oliva the human rights boat. They are trying to drown it says my translator.

We are keeping distance. Feel cowardly.

Amazing that the Oliva is still afloat.

We are within 3 mile limit so why is IDF doing this?

I will call them later to ask.

Other fishing boats yelling at us what are you still here. Go in, go in!

We are heading in. Water canon boat close behind.

All boats okay and heading back to port. No one hurt – but no fish either.

Water canon boat still firing its water into an empty sea.

Correction – one fishing boat passes and shows me its haul. 6 tiny ones. They are angry says my translator.

Water canon boat now firing on another group of fishing boats.

These fishermen are strangely euphoric – singing clapping dancing on their boats. Glad simply to survive I guess.

Back on dry land. 9.55am. Welcome back to safety says my translator, laughing ironically.

The Oliva, the water canoned boat, coming into port now with the other fishing boats.

The Oliva was rammed by the water canon boat and its engine damaged. The captain says all boats were within the 3 mile limit.

The fishing boats have gone back out. The Oliva’s captain is still bailing out his boat.

Captain says the engine fan is broken. It will cost around $4-500 to repair.

The gear is also damaged. This is the 3rd time the crew say.

Captain says they will go out again tomorrow if they can repair the engine. They have to find the parts, not easy in Gaza.

He says every time he goes out he expects to be attacked by water canon, live bullets, ‘whatever.’

That’s it from Gaza City port. I will be writing a piece for the Guardian and we have shot video. Over and out, as they say.

We’ll link to the Guardian article as soon as it’s out.

UPDATE: Rad the CPSGaza account.

4 thoughts on “Daily Gaza fishing flotilla blockaded by Israeli Navy, no fishing to supplement carefully measured aid starvation diet

  1. WTF Eric, what is with all these stories about Israel lately? Durlands got you under hypnosis or something?

  2. You’re kidding me right? The aid convoy to Gaza has been blocked, Israel just voted to make free speech illegal, Israel is plotting against the Arab youth revolutions, and wants to start another war against Iran. Of course by Israel, I mean US-Israel.

    Speaking of hard to ignore, did you read about the earthquake relief team which Israel sent to New Zealand, which turns out to have been Mossad agents eally there to retrieve NZ gov computer files from the rubble? Hard not to want to write about that.

    CIA schemes disguised as vaccination drives, Mossad operations pretending to be earthquake rescuers, that kind of malfeasance really hurts the efforts of sincere people who want to help.

    If you’re not keeping up with world events, I hope you can at least honor calls by the BDS movement to end Apartheid and false democracy in the Middle East.

  3. Like I told The Durlands at one time, We need to look in out own back yard becore we go hooting and hollaring about Israel, look what we have Going on here. A Gay Fort Carson Soldier got the crap beat out of him simply because he is Gay, our local Mayor and City Council refuses to issue a proclamation and/or pass a resloution to condemn the violence, this is a much worse local issue than what the City Council did in 2009. The J&P and the Durlands all insisted upon talking about israel and saying “Oh, isn’t that aweful?” but as for issues on our own soil, and even right in our back yard. No one wants to fight what the hell goes on at home but everybody is raising hell about Israel which is thousands of miles away from here.

  4. “No one wants to fight what the hell goes on at home but everybody is raising hell about Israel which is thousands of miles away from here.”

    uh oh, somebody isn’t doing their homework and connecting the dots. US/Israel, Eric gave the answer.

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