Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period 21 – 27 March 2013:
During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 4 protestors, including a Norwegian human rights defender and member of the board of directors of Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to fire at the Palestinian fishing boats in order to minimize the allowed fishing area to 3 nautical miles instead of 6 nautical miles.
During the reporting period, the Israeli forces continued to systematically use excessive force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinians and Israeli and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank and other protests in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli jails. As a result, dozens of protesters suffered from tear gas inhalation and other sustained bruises.
In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea. PCHR's fieldworkers documented 4 shooting incidents on Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing 3 nautical miles off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the north of the Gaza Strip. As a result of the attacks, the fishermen were obliged to flee back to the shore fearing of being wounded or arrested. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
It should be noted that on Thursday, 21 March 2013, the Israeli forces announced reducing the allowed fishing area from 6 to 3 nautical miles. Israel allowed the Palestinian fishermen to sail 6 nautical miles off the Gaza Strip's shore following the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel last November.