The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit violations of international human rights law (IHRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL) against the population of the Gaza Strip in March 2011. This report, which is laid out chronologically, details Israeli violations carried out in March 2011.
The report demonstrates the lethal and excessive use of force against Palestinians. The IOF continuous attacks and deliberate killing of Palestinians come in the context of imposing restrictions on the movement of the population in the Gaza Strip, particularly farmers who work in their fields near the borders. During the reporting period, the IOF killed six non-combatants, including four children, who did not present any threat to the IOF when they were killed. The report also details the ongoing Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen. It is important to note that the Israeli blockade on Gaza deprives the population from their most basic rights including, inter alia, their rights to life, an adequate standard of living, housing, water and sanitation, work, and access to health, education and family life. Moreover, the IOF prevents Palestinian fishermen from working and attack them, even when they are within the Israeli-imposed 'fishing zone' of three nautical miles from shore.
During this reporting period the IOF attacked fishermen on several occasions, thereby preventing them from concluding their fishing trips. The IOF also opened fire on Palestinian fishermen and chased them to the shore with inflatable rubber boats.
The report also demonstrates that the IOF continued to carry out systematic attacks on civilians and their properties in areas near the border-lines as part of its attempt to enforce the so-called "security buffer zone" that extends one-and-a-half kilometers along the eastern and northern separation fences between the Gaza Strip and Israel. This zone has grave consequences for the Palestinians who live near the borders and the farmers who work in their fields near the borders. It also deprives dozens of Palestinian families from their source of living as these lands account for a high proportion of all agricultural lands in the Gaza Strip.
During this reporting period, the IOF carried out four limited incursions into the Gaza Strip. During these incursions, Israeli bulldozers leveled dozens of dunams of land and attacked Palestinian civilians and their properties near the borders. These incursions come in the context of ongoing Israeli efforts to enforce the so-called 'security buffer zone' and prevent hundreds of Palestinian farmers from farming their lands which are located near the border-line with Israel.
The report also details IOF artillery shelling and missile attacks on different areas throughout the Gaza Strip. In this reporting period, the IOF continued to act in a way that breaches the rules of international humanitarian law in this regard. As a result of these attacks several persons were killed or injured, physical damage was sustained, and civilians, including women and children were terrified. According to Al Mezan's documentation, the IOF carried out 26 artillery shelling and missile attacks. As a result, nine persons were killed and 37 persons were injured, including ten children and three women. One house was completely destroyed, 55 houses were severely damaged, and dozens more were slightly damaged. In addition, one store was completely destroyed, nine shops and two stores were partially destroyed, one workshop was completely destroyed and another two were partially damaged, and three security sites, six cars (including a sewage car and a breakdown truck),11 public facilities and NGO offices, including a building for the Islamic University of Gaza, were partially damaged.
The report shows that the IOF continued to arrest Palestinians during its limited incursions into the Gaza Strip and when pursing fishermen and rubble collectors. Moreover, during the reporting period, the IOF arrested a Palestinian patient on his way to pass the Erez crossing after obtaining permission from the Israeli authorities to travel to receive medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.
The report also presents statistical information on the consequences of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip in March 2011. It seeks to highlight the circumstances in which violations of international law were carried out. Therefore, the report details all of the documented violations as well as the way in which they happened.