Israel has imposed movement restrictions on the Gaza Strip since the early 1990’s. Restrictions intensified in June 2007, following the takeover of that part of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) by Hamas, when Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Gaza, citing security concerns. Despite relaxation of some blockade-related restrictions in recent years, 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza remain ‘locked in’, denied free access to the remainder of the territory and the outside world. The blockade has undermined the living conditions in the coastal enclave and fragmented the oPt and its economic and social fabric. The isolation of Gaza has been exacerbated by restrictions imposed by the Egyptian authorities on Rafah, its single passengers crossing.
Mass demonstrations along Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza took place today, for the fourth consecutive Friday, as part of the ‘Great March of Return’ expected to continue up to 15 May. As of 19:00, four Palestinians, including one child, have been killed by Israeli forces during the events, and 729, including 45 children, have been injured, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. The MoH also indicated that 42 per cent of the injuries (305 people) have been hospitalized, including 156 people hit by live ammunition. With limited resources, health providers are struggling to deal with the massive influx of casualties and are in urgent need of additional support and funding.
The Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, today called for the protection of Palestinian demonstrators and for urgent funding to meet critical humanitarian needs that have been generated by the massive rise in Palestinian casualties in Gaza since 30 March
Flash update: As of 19:00 today, 13 April, one Palestinian has been killed and 969, including 67 children, have been injured by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. The MoH also indicated that of the total injuries, nearly one quarter (223 people) were hit by live ammunition, including 15 people currently in a critical condition.
Flash update: As of 20:00 today, 6 April, seven Palestinians have been killed and over 1,350 injured by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. The MoH reports that approximately 400 of the injuries were caused by live ammunition, of whom 25 are in critical condition. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported that their teams handled 700 of the injured, including over 320 of the live ammunition injuries.
In 1994, a permitted fishing range of 20 nautical miles (NM) was agreed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). In practice, Israel only allowed fishing up to 12 NM until 2006, when the fishing zone was reduced to six and later to three NM. According to the Israeli authorities, “Hamas has established naval forces with significant military capabilities, as seen during operation “Protective Edge” when Hamas naval commando infiltrated Israel and were detected near an Israeli village. This situation required Israel to tighten its security restrictions at sea to prevent similar future attacks.”
Flash update: As of 22:00 today, 30 March, 15 Palestinians were killed and 1,416 were injured by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. Of all injuries, approximately 750 were hit by live ammunition, including twenty, who are reported to be in a critical condition.