Israel’s Deadly Catch: Israel Systematically Attacks Gaza’s Fishermen

This Special Report for the 2015 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights highlights severe human rights abuses suffered by Palestinian fishermen and the decimation of Palestine's fishing industry. The Special Report examines the position of American and Israeli gas companies operating within 13 nm of the Palestinian coast and Israel's brutal closure of Palestinian territorial waters to ensure the protection of gas platforms and pipelines operated by the companies in Palestine's maritime waters. All aspects of the Palestinian fishing industry have been impacted from attacks on fishermen, willful killing, unlawful detentions, and the forced removal of fishermen from occupied territory. The closure of Gaza's sea and land buffer has crippled the economy and reduced the supply of fish, a protein rich source of food, to the point that 57 percent of the population in the Gaza Strip, are currently food insecure. In addition, Israel's repeated military offensives on the Gaza Strip targeting vital infrastructure and causing deliberate damage to sewage facilities has had serious environmental consequences destroying vital fish habitats.

Divide and Conquer - A Legal Analysis of Israel’s 2014 offensive against the Gaza Strip

Between 8 July and 26 August 2014, Israel carried out a massive offensive against the occupied Gaza Strip, codenamed ‘Operation Protective Edge’. According to documentation jointly compiled by the Palestinian human rights organisations Al-Haq, Al Mezan, Aldameer and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a total of 2,215 Palestinians, including 1,639 civilians, were killed during the offensive. Of these victims, 556 were children.  In terms of civilian objects, the organisations documented damage to 32,028 Palestinian residential houses. A documented 43,503 Palestinian families, including 125,079 children, were affected by the destruction and damage to residential house.

Shifting Paradigms - Israel’s Enforcement of the Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip

The so-called buffer zone is a military no-go area that extends within the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) along the entire Gaza Strip’s border with Israel as well as at sea. The buffer zone allegedly responds to the Occupying Power’s legitimate security concerns; yet, Israel’s unilateral expansion of this restricted area and its enforcement mechanisms seriously infringe upon the rights
of protected persons and cause many civilian casualties.

One Year after the ‘Disengagement’: Gaza still Occupied and under Attack

One year after Israel's "Disengagement", the Gaza Strip is still occupied territory under international law.

The Disengagement Plan and Israel’s Status as Occupying Power On 6 June 2004, the Israeli government approved a “Disengagement Plan,” which provided for the complete unilateral withdrawal of Israeli settlers and ground troops from the Gaza Strip, as well as a limited unilateral withdrawal from a small part of the northern West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, the plan was implemented from 15 August 2005, when Israel began removing settlers, until 12 September 2005, when the last troops withdrew.

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Operation Cast Lead and the Distortion of International Law

A Legal Analysis of Israel’s Claim to Self-Defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter On the morning of 27 December 2008, the Israeli occupying forces launched ‘Operation Cast Lead,’ a wide-ranging military operation against the Gaza Strip. After 22 days of unrelenting aerial attacks coupled with intensive ground incursions, the death toll exceeded 1,400 Palestinians, a majority of them civilians including women and children, with over 5,000 more wounded. The excessive civilian casualties were compounded by the unprecedented destruction of civilian infrastructure across the Gaza Strip including hospitals, schools, mosques, civilian homes and United Nations (UN) compounds. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon described the extent of death and destruction across the Gaza Strip as “shocking and alarming”1 and condemned Israel’s “excessive use of force”2 against the Gaza Strip.


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