Over the last ten years, the Israel Defense Forces have increasingly restricted Palestinian access to farmland on the Gazan side of the Israeli-Gaza border as well as to fishing zones along the Gaza beach, a United Nations report revealed Thursday.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) wrote in the report, complied in cooperation with the World Food Program (WFP), that Israel's justification for these restrictions was the prevention of attacks on Israel, including the firing of rockets.
The report was compiled in an effort to understand the extent of the restrictions as well as their effect on the Palestinians' sense of personal security, their ability to make a living and their ability to access services. The report was based on more than 100 interviews and focus group meetings, as well as the analysis of data gathered from other sources.
According to the report, since 2008 the IDF has prevented access to land up to 1,500 meters outside the Green Line, and to naval zones up to 4.5 kilometers from the shore. All in all the IDF restricts access to 17 percent of Gaza's territory. At sea, the fishermen are completely barred from 85 percent of the naval territory to which they are entitled under the Oslo Accords.
The report estimates that some 178,000 individuals are directly affected by these access restrictions.