|Intermittent rocket-fire, tank shelling and armed clashes
Rocket-fire by Palestinian armed groups towards southern Israel, alongside tank shelling by Israeli forces, continued intermittently during the week along the Gaza strip-Israel fence. No Israeli casualties or damage have been reported as a result of Palestinian rocket fire. In one incident on 9 January, a three-year-old Palestinian girl from Khan Younis was injured when the windows of her home shattered as a result of an Israeli tank shell, shot in response to Palestinian shooting. Two members of an armed group were also injured. On the same day, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian armed groups during a “land leveling” operation inside Gaza east of Khuza’a, which ended without casualty. The previous day, another member of an armed group was hit by tank fire and killed near the fence east of Gaza City.
Violent incidents related to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to areas along Gaza’s perimeter fence continued as well during the week. On 11 January, Israeli forces opened fire at a group of civilians approaching the fence east of Jabaliya, injuring a 22-year-old man. An Israeli army spokeswoman indicated that the Palestinians attempted to damage the border fence, and received prior warning before shots were fired at them. On at least five additional occasions during the week, Israeli forces opened warning fire at Palestinian civilians present in the vicinity of the fence, forcing them to leave. In another two incidents, the Israeli navy opened fire in the direction of Palestinian fishing boats sailing near the 6 nautical mile movement limit, and, in one of them, forced two fishermen to strip and swim to the Israeli patrol boat, where they were arrested.
A man electrocuted in a tunnel accident
On 12 January, a Palestinian man died as a result of electrocution while working in one of the illegal tunnels under the border between the Gaza strip and Egypt. This is the first casualty in a tunnel recorded in 2014. During 2013, a total of 14 people, including two children, were killed; and 14 injured in tunnel incidents, compared to 14 and 31 respectively in 2012. The vast majority of the tunnels, primarily used for the smuggling of construction materials and fuel, have been destroyed or shut down by the Egyptian authorities during the second half of 2013, resulting in a sharp reduction in the frequency of related accidents and casualties.
On 10 January, it was reported that a seven-year-old boy fell into a storm water lagoon in the industrial area south-east of Beit Hanoun and drowned. According to an assessment of the site by the WASH Cluster focal point for the area (Save the Children), the sides of the lagoon had collapsed as a result of the winter storm in December, creating very steep slopes and making it difficult to climb out of the lagoon. The water inside the lagoon was 1.5 meters deep. The area around the lagoon is generally unsafe because of storm-related damage. Parts of the area are fenced, but damage has occurred in some places.