Hamas Tales of the Dead Fisherman Who Never Was

Foreign news agencies again publish Hamas claims of the IDF killing “fishermen,” this time after soldiers shot at suspects on land.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

Photographers in Gaza, 2009.
Photographers in Gaza, 2009.
Israel news photo: Flash 90

International news agencies again have published Hamas claims of the IDF killing “fishermen,” this time after soldiers shot at suspects on land.

The Hamas terrorist organization routinely claims that the IDF attacks supposedly innocent fisherman trying to make a living but who are often terrorists encroaching on the territorial waters of Israel.

The Israeli Navy has been on guard for years against the smuggling of explosives, arms and even terrorists by sea. Fishing boats have been a frequent cover for terrorists.

The latest report of the IDF having killed a “fisherman” came shortly after several suspects approached the security fence in northern Gaza.

An IDF spokesman told Arutz Sheva that solders identified the suspects and shot in the air to warn them to withdraw. The warnings went unheeded, the suspects continued to approach Israel, and the soldiers fired on them, hitting at least one of them.

The next day, the AFP news agency reported, “The Israeli navy have killed a Palestinian fisherman and wounded another in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical officials said on Saturday.”

It quoted the unidentified official as saying the victim arrived at a northern Gaza hospital late Friday with a gunshot wound in his leg and died afterwards.

“The brothers had been near the coast off Beit Lahiya along with other fishermen when the naval forces fired on their boats, the Gaza fishing union said,” according to the AFP report.

As usual, there was no information from other sources, and the IDF said there had been no sightings of fishermen approaching Israel's waters.
“An Israeli military spokesman was unable to confirm the shooting,” AFP reported.

One possibility is that the suspects on land also were fishermen by trade, and Hamas simply identified them as such to cause confusion among new agencies, who routinely accept Palestinian Authority claims.