Six Miles Out: A day in the life of Gaza fishermen

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Approximately 3,500 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip depend on fishing to make a living, supporting families of often eight or more people each. Under the Oslo accords signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993, Gaza Palestinians are supposed to be allowed to fish 20 nautical miles out from the coast. However, Israel rarely permits them to sail more than 3-9 miles out—far from where the bigger fish swim. As a result, 95 percent of Gaza fishers and their families live under the poverty line. In addition, many risk their lives and their boats every time they sail out any distance, due to almost daily attacks by the Israeli navy—with the most recent one on Jan. 9, when five Gaza fishermen were detained and their two boats confiscated.

The video above is dedicated to Mohammed al-Hissi, 33, who was shot and killed by the Israeli navy a year ago this month. One of al-Hissi’s two brothers, Nael (dressed in a black shirt in the video, saying “They’ll take the sea from us”), took a We Are Not Numbers team out on a night-time fishing run to show the youths first-hand both the joys and the risks of the profession. It’s a longer video (11 minutes), but you will see Israeli aggression up close and personal.