Decline in incidents along the fence and coastline
For the first time since the entry into force of the ceasefire agreement on 21 November 2012, no deaths or injuries were recorded during the week in the Access Restricted Areas along Gaza’s perimeter fence and coastline.
However, on at least four occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire at Palestinians farmers, workers collecting scrap metal and wood, and bird hunters present in areas located beyond 200 meters from the fence. In two incidents on 6 and 8 February, Israeli forces detained five Palestinian civilians, including two youths, while they were reportedly attempting to cross into Israel illegally.
Also this week, on 10 February, Israeli naval forces detained four fishermen, including two minors; Palestinian sources indicate that the boat was sailing at around five nautical miles (NM) from the shore. The fishermen were released on the same day, but the boat was confiscated. The fishermen were taken for questioning inside Israel.
In the context of the ceasefire agreement and subsequent understandings between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli authorities have extended the permissible fishing area from three to six NM from the Gaza Strip coastline, and allowed civilian access on foot to areas up to 100 meters from the perimeter fence, for agricultural purposes only, and vehicular access to a distance of 300 meters.