Tawfiq’s Reef Film – Gaza From Within

Gaza From Within

Tawfiq’s Reef from Flying Paper

Tawfiq’s Reef is centered on the story of Tawfiq Abu Riyala a Gaza fisherman who was shot dead by the Israeli Na

Tawfiq's Reef Flying Paper Mohamed

vy while attempting to build a man-made reef off the coast of Gaza, in order to catch fish and provide for his family.

This is a story of the plight of Palestinian fisherman in Gaza, heavily restricted in the area in which they can fish, often indebted, shot at, harassed or imprisoned by the Israeli Navy on the narrow sliver of fishing waters available to them off the Gaza coastline.

Tawfiq’s story is one of desperation, family ties, and the camaraderie between Gaza fishermen … One of the most dangerous professions in the world. This is a documentary about fishermen under siege and the ingenious, and often dangerous, solutions they attempt to scratch out a living for themselves.

The Gaza From Within series is a new endeavor by Flying Paper Productions with support from The Genevieve McMillan-Reba Stewart Foundation.

Tawfiq’s Reef Gaza Beach Flying Paper

Gaza From Within: Tawfiq’s Reef (6:30 minutes)

(World Premiere: 2016 Boston Palestine Film Festival, 2017 Toronto Palestine Film Festival)

Check out the film on the World Post: 

Fish stocks are low for Gaza boatmen Getty

Fish stocks are low for Gaza boatmen Getty

The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef – and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The underwater rock formations provide the best fishing grounds off Gaza, but they are just beyond the limit set by the Israelis for local boats. Tawfiq Abu Riyala dreamt up an ingenious plan to solve this problem; but it may have ended up costing him his life.

The 32-year-old fisherman had built up his own artificial rock with planks of wood, tyres, and bits of metal, seemingly well within the area in which he and his colleagues are allowed to operate. It was while he was adding to this pile that an Israeli gunboat opened fire, wounding him fatally.

Tawfiq and four other fishermen were in two boats that he owned. Both vessels were seized: two of the men were injured; two others arrested. “I told him not to go that day, because the Israelis were doing a lot of shooting; but those boats had cost him $50,000 [£34,000] and he had to earn money to pay back the loan he had taken for them,” said his brother Mohammed, 29.

“It may be that the Israelis saw something metallic in his hands and that’s what led to them firing. But he has been building that thing for more than 18 months. They have seen him doing it. So, why shoot this time? And what about all the other shootings?” READ MORE HERE


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