fishing under fire

Israeli gunboats daily shell and fire upon Palestinian fishermen fishing well-within the limits, as well as on residents living along Gaza’s coast. Oslo accorded Palestinians the right to fish 20 nautical miles of the coast of Gaza. Yet Israel has critically and illegally down-sized this to under 3 miles, even firing on and abducting fishermen under 1 mile from the coast.
The Israeli navy uses different tactics of torture to punish the fishermen for persistently fishing, including shooting with live ammunition (on numerous occasions injuring fishermen), shelling, shooting with high-powered water cannons [all of which is simultaneously designed to damage the boats and equipment], at gunpoint forcing fishermen to strip naked and (after a long wait in the cold air) to jump into freezing waters and swim over 50m to the waiting naval ship before hauling the fishermen up, blindfolding and handcuffing them, and abducting them to Israel for interrogation unrelated to issues of fishing.

Eva Bartlett Interview – Gaza, Syria and North Korea: The Truth Behind The Lies

An interview on The Last American Vagabond, November 18.  Please do check out his other videos and support his work! Follow him here:

In his introductory remarks, he writes:

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the Truth is truly a  revolutionary act, and that has never been more apparent than in today’s  hyper-partisan climate, where facts no longer hold sway, and one’s  opinion is now only as strong as the crowd that surrounds it. It has  been conditioned over many years into the masses that the way they feel,  is now more important than the facts at hand. Now some may say that is a  good thing, that information is so manipulated today, that all we have  is the way we feel, our gut instincts. But once we realize that our  feelings have long been programmed and manufactured by way of news media  and entertainment, the very feelings we are now being told to trust, we  begin to see the long-term agenda at play — the manufactured consent  of the masses. So it has never been more important to question  everything, to trust in facts, to trust in what we can prove, as we in  the independent media must do better, we must be better, or we will wake  up down the line, and realize that we have become the very thing we  once despised. And no one embodies the journalistic integrity that is  all but absent in MSM today, more so than Eva Bartlett.

Eva is, in my opinion, one of the last surviving investigative journalists, she has made a name for herself as an independent writer and rights activist by traveling to places such as Gaza, Syria, and North Korea, and revealing to the world the stark contrast between want we are told is happening there, and what is actually taking place.”


UN predictions fall short: Gaza uninhabitable today

The coastal road bridge linking central Gaza to Gaza City, targeted again in Nov 2012. Photo by Eva Bartlett

Dec 21, 2014, RT Op-Edge

-By Eva Bartlett

*edited slightly from original

Five months ago the world watched in horror as the bully of the Middle East, the racist, colonial settler state of so-called israel, launched the most brutal massacre on the Palestinians of Gaza since the Nakba (perhaps more brutal, Palestinian friends in Gaza have said).

Lasting over twice as long as the 2008-09 war on Gaza (formerly the most-brutal massacre since the Nakba), and killing over 800 more Palestinians than in the attack six years ago, the July-August 51-day offensive killed 2,131 Palestinians and injured over 11,000, and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, buildings, businesses, hospitals, Gaza’s only power plant and other key components of Gaza’s infrastructure.

Palestinian and foreign activists and journalists within the 40 kilometer-long strip of open-air prison tweeted and live-streamed images more horrific than the best Hollywood productions. Weathered journalists broke down sobbing at the sight of Palestinian civilians, especially children being targeted like prey by one of the world’s most wickedly powerful armies and navies. Doctors who have seen the mutilated corpses and scarcely-living bodies of Palestinian elderly, men, women and children many times before were yet still appalled by the brutality of these latest attacks.

Worldwide, protesters, journalists of integrity called the bombardment of Gaza genocidal (as israeli officials and politicians called for genocide). One of the most shocking of many images was that of 4-year-old Saher Abu Namous‘s half blown-off head, his father cradling him and wailing. Entire families were murdered in this latest israeli offensive. Not for the first time, the israeli army bombed schools hosting internally displaced, hospitals (including a rehabilitation hospital for disabled and invalid), and entire neighborhoods.

As with prior military operations, the israelis in 2014 targeted water and sewage lines, electricity networks, hospitals, primary health centers, ambulances and medics, bridges and major roads, key governmental buildings, schools and universities.They went further and attacked water, electricity and sanitation personnel, killing at least 14, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted. The resulting electricity, water and sanitation crises are such that until November, power was out 18 hours a day, and just 10 percent of the 1.8 million Palestinians get water once a day (for a matter of hours). As of mid-November, Oxfam reported, power cuts were 12 hours per day in some areas.

While the bombs rained down, some iIsraelis pulled up seats to watch the bloodshed, as 21st Century Wire noted: “Old sofas, garden chairs, battered car seats and upturned crates provide seating for the spectators. …Some bring bottles of beer or soft drinks and snacks. …Nearly all hold up smartphones to record the explosions or to pose grinning, perhaps with thumbs up, for selfies against a backdrop of black smoke.”

The israeli army used the same banned weapons on Palestinians this summer that they’ve used in the past two massacres, as well as “armour piercing bombs” which have “high explosive capabilities” and were used on Palestinian homes. Weapons-seekers flocked to israel after seeing the effects of its weaponry and technology. israel’s weapons industry thrives with each massacre of the Gaza testing ground.

Strangling and starving Gaza

In September 2005, the 8,500 israeli colonists finally, unwillingly left their homes on stolen land. With no Jewish colonists in Gaza, israel has since been free to lock-down all of Gaza and bomb whenever the whim occurs, with no fear of any israeli loss of life. The israelis have waged wars against Gaza every year or two since pulling their colonists out.

Since the June 28, 2006 israeli repeated bombing of Gaza’s sole power plant—destroying all six transformers – Palestinians in Gaza have neither been allowed to import the transformers and materials needed to rehabilitate the plant, nor offered an alternative solution. Through the now-destroyed tunnels, Palestinians did import smaller transformers and got the power plant hobbling again, but never to full capacity.

Geopolitiks: Eva Bartlett of InGaza on Human Rights in Palestine

Feb 19, 2014, Media Monarchy & Geopolitiks

I had an enjoyable discussion with James Evan Pilato of Media Monarchy for his new series: Geopolitiks.

Eva Bartlett follows in the footsteps of Rachel Corrie.” As she continues her US speaking tour about human rights in Palestine, activist and journalist Eva Bartlett joins us for the second episode of Geopolitiks to talk about her years spent volunteering in Gaza documenting the various angles of life under siege, from the “peacetalks to Israeli war crimes and much more.

Observations from Occupied Palestine: Gaza

tunnel workers_small

first published at Crescent International, Eva Bartlett

[see Observations from Occupied Palestine, Part 1]

Unusually heavy torrential rains last month inundated much of Gaza, which was already reeling from a tight Israeli-Egyptian siege since 2006. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected with more than 5,000 evacuated from their homes. Power outages of 20-22 hours daily, or complete days, have become the norm, affecting every facet of life in Gaza.

The Gaza Strip, a 40 km long, 12 km at its widest point, 365 square metre strip of land is host to 1.7 million Palestinians, two thirds of whom are refugees.

While Gaza’s suffering extends decades back, since 2006 much of the world has cut ties with Gaza, and since 2007 Israel, supported by Egyptian and Western powers, has enforced a full blockade on the Strip.

It is not merely an economic blockade, but rather a full lock-down on movement, goods, access to health care outside, and limiting the import of fuel, cooking gas, and medicines, to name some items, into the enclave. It impacts on every facet of life imaginable.

In November 2008, I joined a boat of European Parliamentarians sailing from Cyprus to the Strip, attempting to symbolically break the blockade. Apart from the act of solidarity, it was also my sole means of entering Gaza. With all but one border crossing controlled by israel, and the remaining crossing by the complicit Mubarak rule in Egypt, entry by sea was the only option. However, the outcome was not certain: israel also controls Palestinian waters.

Israel Pirating in Palestinian waters

Though you wouldn’t know it from the lack of media coverage, for decades Israel has been committing acts of piracy in Palestinian waters: Attacking, kidnapping and stealing from Palestinian fishers, sometimes just a mile off the Gaza Strip’s coast.

Despite pledges of restraint, the Israeli navy’s attacks have continued since the November 2012 ceasefire between Israeli authorities and the Palestinian resistance. The Mezan Centre for Human Rights noted on March 24, 2013, that “Since the ceasefire agreement, Israeli occupying forces have carried out 44 attacks against fishermen in Gaza’s waters, injuring four fishermen. Israeli forces arrested 44 fishermen, confiscated nine boats, and damaged fishing equipment on five separate occasions.”


see also:

Gaza’s Ark: Trade, Not Aid

Palestinian fishers are hit hard by the Israeli blockade on Gaza. Credit: Emad Badwan/IPS.

Palestinian fishers are hit hard by the Israeli blockade on Gaza. Credit: Emad Badwan/IPS.

First Published at IPS – By Eva Bartlett

*blog version longer than published version

“An ark is literally a large floating vessel designed to keep its passengers and cargo safe,” say the group preparing ‘Gaza’s Ark’. But their ark, they say, is “a vessel that embodies hope that the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip can soon live in peace without the threat of the Israeli blockade.”

An initiative by Palestinians in Gaza and international solidarity activists, Gaza’s Ark entails “purchasing a run-down boat from a local fishing family,” says Michael Coleman, a member of Free Gaza Australia and on the Gaza’s Ark steering committee.

“The refurbishing will be done by Palestinians in the port of Gaza, and the sailing will be with a mixed crew of Palestinians and internationals,” says David Heap, spokesperson for Gaza’s Ark in Canada and Europe. The sailing date has not been announced yet.

Pointing to a weathered fishing trawler with a ‘for sale’ sign painted on it, Mahfouz Kabariti, president of Gaza’s Fishing and Marine Sports Association, points to fishers’ poverty.

“Why sell?” he asks. “Because of years of poor incomes from Israeli restrictions on sea, many fishers have debts they cannot pay off. Fishers were optimistic when the Israelis re-extended the fishing limit six miles. We hoped that maybe it would be extended to 12 miles.”

The Ark initiative includes exporting a token amount of trade goods from Palestinian artisans, an act which Coleman admits is “symbolic” but necessary. CONTINUE READING

Ceasefire Means ‘Nothing’ to Gaza Fishers

Mohammed Baker

Mohammed Baker (70) has been fishing for half a century. He remembers the days when Palestinian fishers could go out to sea without fear of being attacked, arrested or killed.

first published at IPS -by Eva Bartlett

Shortly after Israel and Hamas signed a ceasefire agreement on Nov. 21, the Israeli navy abducted 30 Palestinian fishers from Gaza’s waters, destroyed and sank a Palestinian fishing vessel, and confiscated nine fishing boats in the space of four days.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that fourteen fishers from a single family, stationed just three nautical miles from the coast of the Gaza Strip, were all arrested on Dec 1.

Some fishers were only two miles off Gaza’s coast when they were attacked with machine gun fire and arrested by the Israeli Navy. Ranging from the ages of 14 to 52, the majority in their late teens and early twenties, these fishers hail from some of Gaza’s poorest families. CONTINUE READING