|Increase in shooting incidents in the ARA: one woman killed
The tense situation recorded since mid-December 2013 in the Access Restricted Area (ARA) along the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip continued during the week. On 28 February, Israeli forces shot and injured a 57-year-old mentally ill woman, who approached the fence in Khuza’a area, east of Khan Younis. According to Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, the woman bled to death after several hours, as rescue teams faced difficulties locating her. Later on the same day, Israeli forces shot and injured a 19-year-old civilian man east of Jabaliya, who reportedly entered the ARA to collect gravel. On several other occasions during the week, Israeli forces opened “warning fire” with live ammunition at other people present in the ARA, including farmers and people collecting gravel, forcing people to leave without causing injuries. In one incident, Israeli forces arrested three civilians who tried to cross into Israel, reportedly seeking work, after opening warning fire at them.
Since the beginning of the year, four civilians including a child were killed, and another 56 including seven children were injured in the ARA along the fence by Israeli forces. This week, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem raised concerns about evidence indicating the use of opening fire regulations that “permit the use of live fire even in cases which pose no mortal danger to members of the security forces”.
Similarly, on at least four occasions, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats approaching or exceeding the Israeli-imposed six-nautical-mile fishing limit, forcing them back to the shore; no casualties or damage was reported.
Also this week, on 3 March, a Palestinian child and a woman were injured during an Israeli air strike targeting members of a Palestinian armed group east of Beit Hanoun, during which two suspected members of the armed group were killed. According to the military, the group was about to launch a rocket towards Israel. During the week, a few rockets were shot towards southern Israel. Most of them fell short in Gaza, causing no injuries or damages.