PCHR Fact Sheet                                                                             December 2012

 

Following
disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel has unilaterally
and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to
Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area
designated by Israel as a “buffer zone” is unknown and Israeli policy is typically
enforced with live fire. The establishment of the ‘buffer zone’ is illegal
under both Israeli and international law.

 

Preventing
Palestinians from access to their land, and fishing areas, violates numerous
provisions of international human rights law, including the right to work, the
right to the highest attainable standard of living, and the right to the
highest attainable standard of health. Enforcing the “buffer zone” by means of
live fire often results in, inter alia,
the war crimes of direct targeting of civilians and indiscriminate attacks.

 

Following
the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in November 2012, a ceasefire agreement
was brokered by the Egyptian government. Following this agreement the
Israeli-imposed fishing limit was expanded from 3 to 6 nautical miles. There
have been conflicting messages about the parameters of the “buffer zone” on
land, which has resulted in an increase of risk for the safety of civilians and
their property in the border areas.

 

                                                                                                                                

Dimensions

 

On
land: inside Palestinian territory:

 

 

· Second Intifada (2000): 150 metres

· According to Israel (2010) : 
300 metres

· 22 November 2012: unclear parameter

· In reality:

Minimum: 300
metres
to approximately 2 kilometres

· Approximately 17% of the total territory of the Gaza Strip

 

 

 

At
sea, area off coast for Palestinian fishing:

 

· Oslo Accords (1994): 20 nautical miles (NM)

· Bertini Commitment (2002): 12 NM

· October 2006: 6 NM

· End of 2007 : 3 NM

· 22 November 2012: 6 NM

· 1.5 NM
in the north along the maritime boundary with Israel

· 1 NM
in the south along the maritime boundary with Egypt

 

Impact

 

On
Land:

 

· Approximately 27,000 dunums, 35% of the Gaza Strip’s
agricultural land
can only be accessed under high personal risk, as
Israeli attacks may result in injury or death of civilians.

· 95% of
the restricted area is arable land

· After the evacuation of settlements (2005) and Operation Cast Lead
(2008-2009) the majority of Palestinians families abandoned their land and
houses.

At
Sea:

 

· Palestinians are totally prevented from accessing 85% of the
maritime areas
in reference to 1994 Gaza Jericho Agreement.

· Approximately 3,700 fishermen expose themselves to high
risk every day at sea.

· Approximately
8,200 persons are working in fishing industry.

· Approximately 65,000 persons, including individuals in the
fishing industry and their dependents are affected by thebuffer zone”
restrictions at sea.

· The area near
the coast is markedly over-fished.

 

 

Attacks

Month 2013

Attacks

Total

Within Land
“buffer zone”

Within Maritime

“buffer zone”

Shelling

0

0

0

Shooting

24

18

6

Incursions

10

4

6

Land leveling

0

0

0

Total of incident

34

22

12

 

* These
numbers do not represent all the incursions which took place in the sea, only
the ones reported so often those were shooting or/and attacks were reported.

 

 

Consequences of
attacks

a. Deaths and Injuries

Month 2013

CONSEQUENCES

Total

Within Land
“buffer zone”

Within Maritime

“buffer zone”

Deaths of Persons

0

0

0

Minors

0

0

0

Women

0

0

0

Injuries of Persons

25

24

1

Minors

6

6

0

Women

0

0

0

 

b. Property related violations

Month 2013

CONSEQUENCES

Total

Within Land
“buffer zone”

Within Maritime

“buffer zone”

Property damaged

1

0

1

Property confiscated

3

0

3

Dunums razed

0

0

0

 

 

c. Detention

Month 2013

 

CONSEQUENCES 

Total

Within Land “buffer zone”

Within
Maritime

“buffer zone”

Total persons
detained

20

4

16

Minors
detained

6

4

2

Women
detained

0

0

0