International activists sail with Gaza fishermen in memory of Arrigoni

Saleh Naami , Tuesday 19 Apr 2011

Solidarity activists are to sail Palestinian fishermen to provide them with protection and to monitor the violations committed against them, which undermine their precarious livelihoods

International activist Vittorio Arrigoni holds medical aid at Gaza seaport in this 29 October 2008 file picture. (Reuters)

A group of foreign activists will accompany Palestinian fishermen to sea Wednesday to witness human right violations routinely committed against them by the Israeli coast guard.

This is the first act of solidarity by non-Palestinians after the kidnapping and murder of Italian human rights activist and pro-Palestinian Vittorio Arrigoni by an armed group in Gaza.

Activist Khalil Shaheen is one of the organisers and he told Weekly Online that it is aimed at protecting Palestinian fishermen in honour of Arrigoni’s memory.

Shaheen noted that those taking part in the solidarity action belong to the Civilian Safety and Security team whose members hail from countries such as Spain, US, Italy and Belgium.

The team will seek to stop Israeli constrictions on fishing areas, reducing the 20 miles agreed upon in Oslo to only three. This curtailment has caused the deterioration of the territory's fisheries market.

The activists will document life threatening situations the fishermen suffer such as being shot at by the Israeli army, Shaheen explained. They will also attempt, through this movement, to break the blockade Gaza has been under for close to five years.

Shaheen emphasized that the activists will venture into the sea in an ordinary fishing boat.

According to Shaheen, Arrigoni was the first to initiate such acts of solidarity.

Short link: