The Palestine Entries: Footage of Israeli Navy relentlessly attacking activists on sinking boat

// Entry #31

After thirty posts in thirty days, I’m writing from Chicago again. My adventures in Palestine have come to an end but there are hundreds of photographs yet to be shown and dozens of stories that deserve to be told. The Palestine Entries will continue to be published until my duty to report on the reality of life in Gaza is completed in full.

That said, I’d like to direct your attention back toward the coast of Gaza City where there has been a noticeable increase in international interest lately due to the Gaza-bound Flotilla movements and the steady naval attacks against Palestinian fishermen. A number of earlier posts reference these attacks against fishermen, young and old, but until today, I’ve been unable to find authentic footage of the kind of arbitrary punishment these fishermen face on a regular basis.

This video shows an Israeli Navy gunship attacking an international activist group with a high powered water canon. The video was filmed by volunteers with the Civil Peace Service stationed in Gaza, an organization that monitors the safety and human rights of Gaza’s fishermen.

The water canon irritates its targets with the sea’s salty water, especially when aimed at the face. It also fills boats with water and drastically increases the risk of sinking the targeted vessels.

The video was first publicized on Mondoweiss along with a descriptive account of the moments leading up to the attack as well as the systematic attack itself. The detail of the attack corresponds completely with the information passed along to me during my interviews and discussions with many fishermen.

A brief quote from the article, written by Hama Waqum:

For ten minutes we were pursued as we tried to escape the gunboat. There were several fishing boats around us and, if there is a silver lining, it is that our presence distracted the Navy from attacking them.

Our boat began to fill with water and we struggled, along with the fishing boats around us to return to shore. Even as we picked up speed, the gunboat honed in on us, with relentless attack after attack. Eventually at just over one mile off the Gaza shore, the gunboat lagged behind and we were on the home straight.

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