|Israeli forces injure a Palestinian man in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land
Incidents involving Israeli forces opening fire into the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea continued on a daily basis, with at least 15 such incidents reported during the week, one of which led to injury. On 23 February, Israeli forces positioned along Gaza’s perimeter fence north of Beit Lahia shot and injured, and subsequently arrested, a Palestinian man as he was approaching the fence.
Access restrictions imposed by Israel at land and sea continue to undermine the security of Palestinians as well as the fishery and agricultural sectors in Gaza, which are the primary source of income for thousands of farmers and fishermen and their families.
During the week, Israeli forces arrested three Palestinian men northeast of Al Bureij Camp, reportedly while they were attempting to infiltrate into Israel.
In one incident on 23 February, Israeli forces fired two shells to the east of Al Maghazi Camp with no injuries reported.
Large areas flooded due to overflow of a stream in the Middle area
The Wadi Gaza stream, which runs through the Middle area of the Gaza Strip, overflowed on the early morning of 22 February, flooding large areas on both sides. Up to 35 residential structures in Al Moughraqa area (mostly Bedouin-owned structures) sustained some type of damage, primarily to furniture and other belongings, including ten homes rendered temporarily uninhabitable. Approximately 100 people were evacuated from their homes and accommodated in the nearby UNRWA Collective Center for IDPs in Al Bureij and in Al Wafa rehabilitation center. Agricultural areas adjacent to the stream were also flooded, resulting in damage to crops and trees, as well as loss of livestock. Main roads were temporarily blocked. Overflowing of the Wadi Gaza stream occurs almost every year with varying degrees of impact.
Palestinian officials have claimed that the flooding occurred due to the opening of a damn on the Israeli side of the stream. According to various media reports, the Israeli authorities denied this claim and attributed the incident to a sudden “flash flood”.
Three children injured by detonation of explosive remnants of war
On 17 February, three Palestinian children, aged between two and13, two of whom are siblings, were injured by Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) which detonated inside their house in Al Twam area, west of Jabalia. Since the ceasefire of August 2014, ten Palestinians, including one child, have been killed in similar incidents, and 39 others, including 14 children injured.
According to the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), some 7,000 ERW continue to contaminate areas in Gaza, with children, humanitarian workers, rubble-removal workers, scrap collectors, construction workers, internally displaced persons (IDPs) returning to their damaged homes, and farmers working and/ or living in the Access Restricted Areas at highest risk of injury.