Palestinian fisher people and communities are facing hard times without being able to capture sufficiently to sustain themselves due to continued Israeli attacks against fishermen, including shooting, arresting and chasing them, and limiting the area allowed for sailing and fishing .
Palestinian Center for Human Rights' (PCHR) report points out that during the reporting period (between 1st of January and 31st of October, 2016), 100 shooting incidents were reported within the limited fishing area off the Gaza Strip shores . As a result, Israeli forces restrict and prevent Palestinian fisher people from practicing their right to work and even target their livelihood .
Between 2014 and 2016, Israeli navy forces have not abided by the ceasefire agreed on by Palestinian armed groups and Israel and brokered by Egypt on 26 August 2014. This agreement has been allowing Palestinian fishermen to sail freely within 6 nautical miles in the Gaza Sea. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) documented that all Israeli attacks occurred within the allowed fishing area. The tightening restrictions against fishermen increased after Israeli forces announced on 07 March 2015 via loudspeakers that the allowed fishing area was reduced to 4 nautical miles, warning fishermen of approaching this distance along the Gaza Sea .
Recently, a Palestinian fisherman, Ismail Saleh Abu Reyala, was shot dead by the Israeli Navy on 25 February 2018. Ismail had turned 18 and his colleagues declare that he was preparing lunch on a fishing trip in the Northern area of Gaza territorial waters together with Aahed Hassan Abu Ali and Mahmoud Aadel Abu Reyala when the Navy opened fire. Aahed and Mahmoud were also injured by bullets .
Although the military spokespersons argue that the fishing boat crossed the arbitrary line of six nautical miles set by the Israeli authorities for Palestinians to fish  and ignored warnings and strayed from a permitted fishing area in the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel , Gaza Fishermen’s Union declared that the boat was targeted as it was making its way back to Gaza, and Nizar Ayyash, the secretary of the Gaza Fishermen’s Union, claimed that the fishermen did not violate the maritime limit [2, 4]. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) as well claimed that all Israeli attacks on Palestinian fishermen have taken place within the distance of six nautical miles, which “proves that Israeli forces’ policies aim to tighten restrictions on the Gaza Strip’s fishermen and their livelihoods” .
The killing of yet another fisher comes just three days after Gaza officials declared a state of emergency as the economy reaches the brink of complete collapse. Gaza is suffering from undrinkable water and severe food shortages , while fishing is one of the biggest industries in the Gaza Strip, a coastal enclave of almost 2 million inhabitants .
According to Fishers Committee of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), the situation has become even worse with the U.S. decision to cut aid to the United Nations Relief and Welfare Agency (UNRWA) which runs schools and provide food for some 300,000 youth in Gaza . After the death of 18-year-old Ismail Saleh Abu Reyala, fishermen called an immediate strike for two days in order to protest Israeli violations against the Palestinian fishermen. [2, 4]