PRESS RELEASE | CPSGAZA: Civil Peace Service Gaza: CPS GAZA responds to Israeli naval attacks, death threats

For Immediate Release

contact: Civil Peace Service Gaza +0595 567 120

When:  14 July 2011, 6:00 pm local time
Where: Port of Gaza, Palestine
Who: Alexandra Robinson, US human rights monitor for Civil Peace Service Gaza
Khalil Shaheen, Director of the Economic and Social Rights Unit, PCHR
Mahfouz Kabiriti, President of Palestine Association for Fishing and Marine Sports
What: CPSGAZA crew members and leaders will denounce recent Israeli naval aggression and announce their plans for future missions

For the second consecutive day, the CPSGAZA human rights monitoring boat came under sustained attack by Israeli naval forces, and was threatened for the first time with lethal force.

At approximately 8:15 am, two Israeli gunboats approached the Oliva as it cruised within the three-nautical mile fishing zone unilaterally imposed and enforced by Israeli forces.

After circling it several times, they opened fire on it with water cannons, nearly filling it with water in an apparent attempt to sink it.

Two United States crew members and the Palestinian captain were rescued from the vessel, in imminent danger of capsizing, by a small fishing boat, which transported them to a nearby trawler.

One of the warships then circled the trawler for nearly an hour, firing water cannons at it and taunting its fishing crew over its loudspeaker with cries of, “Where are your fish? Show me your fish!”

The warship eventually departed, after an amplified warning that if it returned to the sea, the Israeli navy would shoot both Palestinian fishermen and international human rights observers.

“Such behavior and threats towards unarmed international observers clearly demonstrates an attempt to hide the ongoing crimes of an illegal blockade,” said Alexandra Robinson, a United States citizen and CPSGAZA crew member who experienced the attack.

Civil Peace Service Gaza is an international third party non-violent initiative to monitor potential human rights violations in Gazan territorial waters.



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