|No casualties despite resumption of rocket firing and air strikes
Between 19 and 24 June, armed Palestinian groups fired a number of projectiles towards southern Israel, with most falling inside Gaza; no casualties or damage was reported. In response to the rocket firing, Israeli air forces launched air strikes on two military training sites in Khan Younis and Rafah, and on an open area in Deir Al Balah on 24 June. The strikes resulted in damage to a number of nearby houses, and a network that feeds electricity for 400 houses.
The Israeli authorities continued enforcing restrictions on Palestinian access along the perimeter fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and beyond 6 nautical miles (NM) from the Gaza shore. On two occasions this week, Israeli forces fired warning shots near farmers working in the area, as well as near Palestinians who reportedly attempted to cross the fence illegally into Israel; no injuries were reported. One land leveling operation was also recorded during the week. In at least one incident, Israeli naval forces opened fire at fishermen who were reportedly sailing near the 6 NM limit from the shore, forcing them to leave the area.
Decline in fuel and construction materials via tunnels
The Egyptian forces have continued their action to stop tunnel activities under the Gaza-Egypt border. As a result there has been a sharp decline in the amounts of fuel and construction materials available to the Gaza markets.
On average this week, approximately 300,000 liters of fuel (including petrol and diesel) were transferred via tunnels per day, or around 30 per cent of the amounts of fuel that entered over the past weeks. This decline has been reflected in long queues of vehicles at petrol stations across the Gaza Strip. However, the Gaza Power Plant continues operating at two-thirds of its full capacity (120 megawatts).
Also, the Palestinian Federation of Industries indicated that the volume of construction materials entering through the tunnels declined to less than 2,000 tonnes a day during the week, compared to over 7,000 tonnes which entered each day through the tunnels in past weeks. As a result, the prices of cement, aggregates and steel bars have remained higher than in previous periods.
Gaza authorities execute two Palestinian men
On 22 June, the Gaza authorities executed two men aged 43 and 49 years, who were sentenced to death in early 2013 after being convicted of “collaboration with Israel”. These are the first executions that have been carried out in Gaza since the beginning of the year. In addition, on 20 June, a military court in Gaza sentenced a civilian man to death by hanging, on similar grounds, the fifth death penalty that has been issued since the beginning of 2013.
The trial of civilians in military courts is prima facie inconsistent with international human rights standards, in particular with regard to procedural guarantees pertaining to a fair trial. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, of the 110 death sentences issued in Gaza since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, 29 have been implemented (16 without the required Palestinian presidential ratification).