‘Bakr boys’ cousin shot and killed by Israeli forces while fishing off Gaza coast

Israel/Palestine
on 14 Comments

In the latest tragedy for a well-known Gaza fishing family, Israeli forces have shot and killed Muhammed Majed Bakr, 25, while he was out fishing. Muhammed was the cousin of the four young boys killed in an incident that appalled the world when they were hit by an Israeli naval shell during the 2014 offensive against Gaza. They were playing football on the beach at the time, Israel subsequently exonerated itself from any wrong-doing.

Three of the four Bakr boys killed by Israel on the Gaza beach in 2014, fleeing for their lives.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) who are investigating this latest incident, at 8.30am yesterday morning Israeli gunboats opened fire at a fishing boat, wounding Bakr with a bullet to the abdomen. The Israeli naval soldiers then arrested Baker and took him to an unknown destination; he died later in the day. An Israeli spokesperson claimed that Bakr was killed when the boat he was fishing from: “ignored warning shots and continued to stray out of its authorized zone”, however, medical sources in Gaza say that the boat was within four nautical miles of Gaza’s shore.

The ‘authorized zone’ changes continually. According to the Oslo Agreement it should be 20 nautical miles, however Israel operates the zone between a varying 3 and 9 nautical miles, but attacks frequently occur within these limits. In 2016 PCHR documented 133 incidents in which fishing boats were either shelled or fired upon while working within the permitted area. In addition, fishing boats and equipment were confiscated or damaged, 12 fishermen were injured and 131 detained. About 4000 fishermen work off the coast of Gaza, half of whom live below the poverty line.

The killing of Muhammed Majed Bakr is the latest in an ongoing pattern of attacks by Israel on Gaza’s farming and fishing community, termed ‘economic warfare’ by Israeli officials who see this as a legitimate campaign against Gaza and its Hamas-led government. For the Bakr family, it adds to the terrible weight of grief they endure and the economic burden of providing for Muhammed Majed Bakr’s wife and two small daughters in an already impoverished community.

The UN, Human Rights Organisations and International NGOs continue to call for the end of Israel’s siege of Gaza, including the naval blockade. Meanwhile, the head of the Gaza-based fishermen’s union, Nizar Ayyash, has called on the UN to intervene to stop Israeli assaults against Gaza fishermen.

About Elaine Bradley

Elaine Bradley is an academic and activist for Palestinian rights who has lived and worked in Gaza. Now based in Ireland, she is a founding member of Academics for Palestine.

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14 Responses

  1. Ossinev
    May 16, 2017, 1:09 pm

    Just another boring day at the office for the IOF. The “Naval Soldiers” were having a routine moral moment. Probably put their names in a hat and the lucky ones got a bit of free “live” practice and in due course a morally satisfying kill.

    • RoHa
      May 16, 2017, 8:29 pm

      What is a “naval soldier”? A sailor or a marine?

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      May 17, 2017, 11:51 am

      This is just horrible. I can’t stop weeping. The silence of Jews around the world is despicable. The complicit US and Germany are guilty of protecting war criminals. What happened to the lessons of the Nuremberg trials?

      • oldgeezer
        May 17, 2017, 9:27 pm

        @Lillian Rosengarten

        What lessons? (Facestious)

        Israel has become a country where explicit calls for genocide can be made by the deputy speaker of the knesset and there is not a whimper from the public or press.

        Not a whimper.

        Yonah was quite upset with me for saying that comparisons with other historical regimes was inappropriate and unnecessary as Israel was equally vile in it’s own right but the facts speak for themselves.

        Left, right… who cares.

        Their is no silent group in that racist state that makes it in anyway redeemable. Beyond comprehension really but the majority represent the absolute dregs of humanity.

      • Maghlawatan
        May 18, 2017, 1:02 am

        I was watching a video about the end of WWT. The British occupiers of Germany ran courses on democracy and the rule of law. One man who had been in the SS realised it was the first time in 12 years he had been treated with dignity and respect.
        Another German was taken prisoner during the war and sent to a prison in Scotland. When the war was over he stayed on and was stunned by the kindness of the locals. When he died recently he donated his estate to the village.
        The Nazis ran a nihilistic system. So does Israel. Judaism is about compassion and justice.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      May 17, 2017, 12:38 pm

      Ossinev- This is no joking matter

  2. eljay
    May 16, 2017, 1:35 pm

    … According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) who are investigating this latest incident, at 8.30am yesterday morning Israeli gunboats opened fire at a fishing boat, wounding Bakr with a bullet to the abdomen. The Israeli naval soldiers then arrested Baker and took him to an unknown destination; he died later in the day. …

    Boris’ll tell you it’s a self-evident truth that people, who go fishing (near New York policemen), should be ready to receive a bullet.

    IOW, Jews who fail to respect the whims of their oppressors deserve to die. Like all Zionists, he’s strangely eager to undermine the rights and freedoms of Jews.

  3. chocopie
    May 16, 2017, 1:40 pm

    How evil do you have to be to shoot a fisherman who is out in a boat and no threat to anyone. This is where Zionism has led these people, straight to human depravity.

    Deepest condolences to Mohammed Bakr’s loved ones. The picture of the young men crying is heartbreaking.

    • RoHa
      May 17, 2017, 8:40 am

      A man supporting his family by honest hard work is a threat to Israel.

  4. JosephA
    May 16, 2017, 10:41 pm

    What another sad story. Where is the international outrage? Will the murderers be brought to justice? Sick.

  5. Ossinev
    May 17, 2017, 6:07 pm

    @Lilian Rosengarten
    “Ossinev- This is no joking matter”

    I can assure you that I do not see this typical Zionist atrocity as a joking matter. My intention was simply to underline what I see as being a culture of casual barbarity in the IOF.

    Apologies if you felt that I was being disrespectful to the victim or his family.

  6. Citizen
    May 19, 2017, 8:29 am

    New incidence of the Israeli navy using Palestinians on little fishing boats for target practice pop up regularly on Twitter. I’ve never seen it mentioned in any US main media.

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