Access Restricted Areas (ARA) in the Gaza Strip

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 03 Jul 2013

KEY FACTS - Since September 2000, Israel has tightened restrictions on Palestinian access to the sea and to land located near the fence with Israel, citing security concerns. - Up to 35% of Gaza’s agricultural land and as much as 85% of its fishing waters have been affected at various points. - Currently, access to farming land within 300 metres of the perimeter fence separating Gaza from Israel is largely prohibited, while presence for several hundred metres beyond this distance is risky. - Fishermen are currently allowed to access less than one third of the fishing areas allocated under the Oslo Accords - 6 out of 20 nautical miles (nm) from the coast. - There are currently 3,500 registered fishermen, compared to approximately 10,000 in 2000; an additional 2,000 people work in fishing-related industries. - The potential fish catch lost as a result of access restrictions between 2000 and 2012 is estimated at approximately 1,300 metric tonnes (mt) per year. - At least 95% of Gaza fishermen receive international aid. - Prior to November 2012, access restrictions resulted in a loss of approximately 75,000 mt of agricultural produce, valued at USD 50.2 million, per year. - 319 shelters, or 12% of those destroyed during Operation “Cast Lead” in 2008/2009 were located in the ARA. - Thirteen schools, with 4,800 students and staff are located within 1,500 metres from the fence and have been damaged or had class sessions disrupted due to the enforcement of access restrictions. - Since June 2007, 214 Palestinian have been killed, including at least 127 civilians, and 825 injured, including at least 761 civilians, in the ARA on land. - During the same period, five Palestinian fishermen were killed and 25 injured when Israeli naval forces opened fire to enforce access restrictions.

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