Dozens of Palestinian citizens performed the Friday prayer at the Gaza Port Mosque, west of Gaza City, in solidarity with the Palestinian fishermen.
The citizens flocked to the port at the invitation of the National Anti-Siege and Reconstruction Commission.
In his khutba (sermon), senior Hamas official and lawmaker Marwan Abu Ras highlighted the recent Israeli attack on a fishing boat and the resultant loss of a fisherman, expressing his Movement’s solidarity with the fishermen and their suffering.
“The Israeli enemy deprives the Gaza Strip population of their right to live and commits crimes against fishermen at sea,” Abu Ras said.
The Hamas official urged the Arab and Islamic countries to respond to the recent incident in Gaza waters by severing their relations with Israel and closing their embassies in Tel Aviv.
“We tell them (the Arab and Islamic countries) that Israel is fighting your morals, economy, tourism and politics. It is a common enemy to all of us,” he said.
An Israeli gunboat last Wednesday deliberately rammed into a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of al-Sudaniya area, north of Gaza. This led to the loss of one fisherman and the sinking of the fishing boat.
Israeli gunboats are around Gaza fishermen every day, harassing them, shooting at them, damaging their boats, and making arrests. Sometimes fishermen are injured or killed during gunfire attacks.
Under the 1993 Oslo accords, Palestinian fishermen are permitted to fish up to 20 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza. Over the past 18 years, however, Israel has reduced the fishing area gradually to a limit of three nautical miles as part of its blockade on Gaza.
But fishermen and human rights groups say that, since the 2008-09 war in Gaza, the Israeli army regularly enforces a limit even closer to the shore.