Muhammad Majid Bakr was fishing off the coast of the Gaza Strip when Israeli forces detained and shot him, Ma’an News Agency reported Monday.
The 23-year-old Bakr succumbed to his wounds while hospitalized in Israel hours later.
According to Ma’an, Israeli army sources claim that the fishing vessel “deviated from the designated fishing zone.” Restrictions on fishing have been a component of Israel’s coastal blockade since 2007.
Khamis Bakr, fisherman’s uncle: “My nephew and his brothers were on a small fishing boat to make their living,” the fisherman’s uncle, Khamis Bakr, told teleSUR’s correspondent in Gaza, Noor Harazeen. “Israeli gunboats opened fire on Muhammad and his fellows while they were sailing near the border from zero point.”
The killing occurred on the 69th Nakba Day, which commemorates the mass expulsion of Palestinians that took place in 1948. Amid Israel’s establishment, over 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their land. The day was marked by protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and by demonstrations around the world in solidarity with Palestinians opposing the ongoing occupation by Israeli forces.
Hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip participated Tuesday in Bakr’s funeral procession from the al-Shefaa Hospital towards Bakr’s home in the al-Shatea refugees camp. Meanwhile, the Palestinians Fishermen’s Union in the Gaza Strip suspended fishing in the sea of Gaza Tuesday to protest the killing.
Detainment and killing of Palestinians by Israeli occupiers are not isolated occurrences in the besieged Palestinian territories. Ma’an reports that Bakr is at least the 22nd Palestinian killed by Israeli occupation forces so far in 2017.
Detainment of Palestinians who approach the “buffer zone” of border areas is a regular occurrence. Early Tuesday morning, Ma’an reported that 20 Palestinians in the West Bank were detained during early morning raids by Israeli forces, according to Ma’an.
Tuesday is the 30th day of an ongoing hunger strike staged by hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Launched on Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, the hunger strike has received solidarity support from around the world.
In spite of international support and the continued deterioration of striker’s health, Israel has not agreed to any of the prisoner’s demands, instead further cracking down on prisoner’s rights by removing access to clothing and placing leaders in solitary confinement.