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IDF: 'Forbidden zone' in Gaza three times larger than previously stated

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has clarified that the “forbidden” buffer zone in Gaza strip stretches 300 meters from the fence (the Israeli border), and not 100 meters as it previously announced.

Civilians who enter the area risk being shot by the army. In the past, the killing of Palestinians who wandered into the forbidden zone has led to retaliatory rocket launching from the Strip into Israeli territory.

The clarification was made following a request by the human rights organization Gisha. Gisha had noticed that the IDF Spokesperson’s messages stated a different distance than did the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which claimed that Gazans are not allowed into an area stretching only 100 meters from the fence. Recently, the army notified Gisha that the forbidden zone is indeed three times larger than previously reported.

The army has refused to fully detail the methods it uses to warn farmers and other civilians from wandering into the forbidden zone it declared. A spokesperson for the army has told Gisha that such methods are part of “the opening fire procedures, and cannot be disclosed.”

There are over 1.5 million Palestinians living in 141 square miles in Gaza, including the buffer zone, which represents a population density of 11,267 people per square mile. Below you can see a map of the Gaza Strip (click on map for larger scale). The dark green strip represents 500 meters from the Gaza-Israel fence. For the full scale map in PDF format, click here.

Gaza map and IDF imposed “forbidden zones” (by Gisha)

 

Israel recently reduced the area off the Gaza coastline which it allows for fishing to 3 miles (it increased it to 6 miles as part of the cease fire agreement ending Operation Pillar of Defense late last year). Under the Oslo Accords, Israel committed to allowing Gazans to fish up to 20 miles from the coastline.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. John

      They just can’t but help themselves to more and more land. Now it is Israel who are trying to drive the Palestinians in gaza in to the sea

      Reply to Comment
    2. rsgengland

      When talking about persons that wander into the security strip being shot, at least mention the amount of IEDs’ that often get left next to the separation fence, and attacks on Israelis, that cause death and/or injury.
      When the people and rulers in Gaza accept Israel as a permanent state, and stop calling for the destruction of the State of Israel and the Ethnic Cleansing of most of its Jewish inhabitants, the necessity for having this border strip will vanish.

      Reply to Comment
      • John

        The PA in the West Bank have been conduction a campaign of non-violent resistance for the last several years. Abbas and the PA who recognise the State of Israel are compliant fools for the US and Israel yet still there are more demolitions and more theft of Palestinian owned land than ever before. Settlement building continues unabated on land designated for a Palestinian state and Bibi has no interest in talking peace to anyone unless they are giving him something for nothing .
        I presume Hamas are watching this and see no reason why they should change

        Reply to Comment
      • Rsgengland, please provide details of the number of IEDs casually left lying about near the Gaza perimeter fence and the number of Israeli civilians harmed – and also details of the number of Gazans who have been shot dead, not for ‘wandering into the security strip’, but simply for living in that nebulous buffer zone or having farmland there. I doubt you know the number of either. You’re just hoping for the existence of the former to justify your lack of concern for the latter.

        Reply to Comment
        • rsgengland

          Vicky, today there are not many IEDs’, because the attempts to lay them are normally foiled by the Israeli Army.
          As my post says, when the Palestinians/Hamas stop threatening to destroy Israel and Ethnically Cleanse the majority of her Jewish citizens, there will no longer be the necessity for having this barrier.
          Read the Hamas Charter some time.
          Listen to the words and statements of the Hamas/Palestinian leadership.
          It may help to lift the illusions that keep appearing.

          Reply to Comment
          • I asked you some specific questions. You have not answered, you have ducked. The fact is that Palestinians have been shot dead not in connection with planting IEDs, but for harvesting crops, for walking between houses in the buffer zone, and in some cases even as they were going in the opposite direction from the perimeter fence – without due warning. The major problem caused by the buffer zone is its nebulousness: there is no way for people to tell from one day to the next whether their presence is going to be objectionable to the army or not. You can’t simply gloss over these deaths (unrelated to any kind of paramilitary activity) with the claim that Israelis are dying as a result of IED attacks – especially when you aren’t capable of producing details of one such fatality or injury, and still less of relating it to a Palestinian death.

            Last year an army captain lost an arm due to an IED planted along the perimeter. The only people to set foot on the perimeter are military. Soldiers in uniform. The people who set those devices are fully aware of that. You have a tendency to collapse all wounded or killed Israelis into the same category of innocence, victims in a concerted attempt to ‘ethnically cleanse’ the place of Jews, while all dead Palestinians are either militants or ‘collateral’ (you have used that word round here before) whose deaths were the fault of Hamas. This attempt to fudge the distinction between civilian and military targets and to present attacks on a military patrol as part of an ‘ethnic cleansing’ take on a painfully ironic flavour when you recall that within sight of Gaza lies Majdal. After the establishment of Israel, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had already been expelled, the authorities decided that there were still too many Arabs in Majdal. At first they were kept behind barbed wire. Then they were loaded onto trucks and driven to Gaza, with each truckload being described in official parlance as a ‘delivery’. This was happening in 1950. Those people were not a threat. They were virtual prisoners. Some of that cargo is still alive in Gaza today, so if you want to discuss the finer points of what an ethnic cleansing looks like, try getting in touch with some of them or their descendents.

            This is the context in which paramilitary activity in Gaza emerged. I’ve read the Hamas charter and quite a lot of other stuff related Hamas, its establishment, and its current incarnation. I doubt you’ve done the same, except maybe choice snippets on certain websites. Referring me to those documents really isn’t going to paper over the leaps of logic in your first comment, or to disguise the double standards you operate when it comes to justifying Palestinian death and current Israeli policies.

            Reply to Comment
          • rsgengland

            Palestinians entering the buffer zone get shot because of previous instances of actions by Hamas and sundry others.
            Until the whole region arrives at some sort of accommodation, these buffer zones will be maintained.
            That is the nature of military strategy, to ensure that once an area of trouble to the military is subdued, it remains that way, until other alternatives arise.
            This should get you going though, I do not believe that most of the refugees were expelled.
            The results of the Arab Higher Command embellishment, distortion and hysteria over Deir Yassin caused such fear in the Arab population, that at the first sign of fighting, most fled.
            This was in addition to the poor Arab leadership, infighting among the various factions and the fleeing of the ‘Palestinian Notables and Civic Leadership’ before and during the fighting.
            Every war in the history of man/womankind creates refugees, +/-15000000 between India and Pakistan after 1947 being a case in point.
            The Palestinians are the only group of refugees who have had a dedicated UN Agency and funding [UNRWA] ever.
            As long as this Antisemitic organization [no Jewish refugees from Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria allowed] exists, there will be no peace in the region.

            Reply to Comment
          • It doesn’t get me going because I already know what you believe. The idea is not rare among apologists for Israeli policy. I am also familiar with your habit of responding to specifics (e.g. what happened to the people in Majdal) with vague generalities (“Every war in the history of humankind creates refugees – look at Partition…”), as though a proliferation of other atrocities elsewhere in the world can blot out the facts and the problems of this specific case. And again, you are ducking the crucial point: Palestinians *live* in the buffer zone, that buffer zone changes without warning, and the shootings there are rarely tied to paramilitary activity.

            UNRWA exists because when the Palestinian refugee crisis occurred the UN was in its infancy and in 1948 there was no umbrella organisation for refugees as there is today. (It should be noted that displaced persons in Europe in the aftermath of World War II also had their own dedicated refugee agency to take care of their interests, the UNRRA – do you complain about that? Or did you simply not know that it existed?) It could actually be argued that Palestinian refugees would have fared better if UNRWA had been subsumed into UNHCR, but this is an entirely separate issue that has no bearing on the content of this post. It seems that whenever you can’t address a point, you try to deflect the conversation by producing irrelevancies in the manner of a conjuror producing rabbits from a hat, and without any great knowledge of what you are bringing up either.

            But that isn’t actually a problem. It’s fine when someone doesn’t happen to know the history of UN refugee care – not everyone has the time to be wading through history books and UN documentation. I am also not shocked by right-wing political or historical analysis, considering that some of my closest Israeli friends are quite staunchly right-wing. What is not OK is the tendency to romanticise Israel from an armchair thousands of miles away, and to cheerfully accept as necessary policies that don’t affect you but that could kill other people – in short, the complete studied indifference to loss of human life where that life doesn’t happen to be Jewish. (To be fair, it’s just as ugly when certain pro-Palestinian internationals do the same. I can’t see them as being any different from you.) As long as such indifference exists, there will be no peace in the region.

            Reply to Comment
          • rsgengland

            Please understand that I am in no way apologizing for or about Israel.
            I am extremely proud of Israel, and to be an Israeli citizen, and whose family live in Israel full time and serve in the army.
            No country is perfect; they all make mistakes, some worse than others.
            Israel exists in a very tough neighborhood, and in comparison with its neighbors, has done extremely.
            The terminology of “right and left wing” leaves me indifferent; they are both different sides of the same coin, displaying the same lack of tolerance of ideas, and others, and freedom.
            All refugee agencies were merged into one, except for the racist UNRWA, which excludes Jews that were Ethnically Cleansed from Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria after the Jordanians invaded, occupied and annexed what then came to be called “The West”.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “As my post says, when the Palestinians/Hamas stop threatening to destroy Israel and Ethnically Cleanse the majority of her Jewish citizens, …”

            You mean like Zionists destroyed Palestine and cleansed the majority of its citizens?

            “… there will no longer be the necessity for having this barrier.”

            Is there a necessety for a barrier against Jews? Are Palestinians allowed to shoot every Jew who comes close to it or even wants to cross it to illegaly enter the recognized state of Palestine and illegaly settle there?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >You mean like Zionists destroyed Palestine and cleansed the majority of its citizens?

            There was no “Palestine” to destroy.

            I suggest you should try and find out what was the government of “Palestine” circa 1947, or where was its capital.

            In 1919 Palestinian Arabs had refused to grant Jews equal rights. In 1947 Palestinian Arabs had refused to live in Jewish state and declared war on Israel.

            Such a shame that Jews had no other choice but to remove part of hostile population. On a bright side, no gas chambers was employed, although there was enough people with proper training.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “There was no “Palestine” to destroy.”

            We allready know that you and your ancestors were not citizens of Palestine pre 1948. But beside the stupidity of your claim. Do you really want to deny that Jews destroyed more than 400 villages and many urban neighbourhoods?

            “I suggest you should try and find out what was the government of “Palestine” circa 1947, or where was its capital.”

            I don’t need to find anything. You will find a reference to the Goverment of Palestine in many international treaties the mandatory concluded on Palestine’s behalf. And Jerusalem city was Palestine’s capital.

            “In 1919 Palestinian Arabs had refused to grant Jews equal rights.”

            What do you mean by refusing to grant Jews equal rights?

            “In 1947 Palestinian Arabs had refused to live in Jewish state and declared war on Israel.”

            The Jews refused to live in a Palestinian state the mandatory wanted to release into independance and started to terrorize everyone. It was not the majority of Palestinians who needed a war to acquire territory for a state.

            “Such a shame that Jews had no other choice but to remove part of hostile population. On a bright side, no gas chambers was employed, although there was enough people with proper training.”

            Who says that you’re not able to learn from your past. The first sentence alone is excactly like Nazis argued when they expelled and murdered Jews. And was is not you who also said that it is “not racist to tell the truth” when it comes to Palestinans? That’s excactly what Nazis claimed when they were telling the rest of the world the so called “truth” about Jews.

            “What are the borders of the state of Palestine, which was (almost) recognized as such in 2012?”

            The borders are the green line. It was within this border the State of Palestine was redeclared in 1988. And it was not recognized as a state, not “almost”. It has not become a member state of the UN, yet, because of the veto capability of a state which has a congress which gives an Israeli president more standing ovations than his own.

            “Israeli scumbags (please, don’t call them “fascists”, it is an insult to Duce Mussolini)”

            Wait. Jebotinsky was a fascist lover and regared Mussolini as a potential ally against the British. The first “brown shirts” were the Betar, not the SA. In 1934 the Revisionist Zionist movement set up a Naval Academy in Italy. In 1940 the terrorist organisation Lehi proposed to the Nazis an alliance and on the base of establishing a totalitarian state in Palestine. Jebotinsky -> Begin, Shamir -> Herut > Likud … Trespasser

            “Gaza is in the state of war with Israel, and by laws of war blockade is 100% legal, as long as population gets its calories.”

            Collective punishment is illegal, but I’m sure you allready know that, too. The Nazis were obsessed with calculating calories.

            ““illegal settler regime” is semantically meaningless, unless you are implying that the whole state of Israel is an illegal settler project ruled by an illegal settler regime.”

            Now that would bring us back to the question, if the Zionist settler project and its transformation into a state was ever sanctioned by the majority of the citizens of Palestine. Of course that includes refugees and expellees who actually were citizens of Palestine, but not half of the Jews which weren’t and had not achieved political rights in Palestine by 1948. But I can understand that majority ruling doesn’t matter to colonial supporters of Apartheid at all. And naturaly of those whose shirts are even more brown.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Are Palestinians allowed to shoot every Jew who comes close to it or even wants to cross it to illegaly enter the recognized state of Palestine and illegaly settle there?

            What are the borders of the state of Palestine, which was (almost) recognized as such in 2012?

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            You will find my all my answers above your post.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Anne O'Nimmus

      Larry, what happened to the terms of the ceasefire last Nov which were supposed to open much of this no-go/high-risk zone to the people?

      Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        The gisha site has enough information to answer your question. In short if millitants fire a rocket, Gaza civilans will suffer.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >In short if millitants fire a rocket, Gaza civilans will suffer.

          Are you suggesting that Israel should lift blockade, so militants would be able to act freely?

          Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            I agree with Gisha’s reply:

            “International law provides Israel with a wide range of lawful actions, military and diplomatic, that can be used to counter the threat of rockets. Restrictions on movement of people and civilians goods as a means of punishment fall outside this range.”

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >I agree with Gisha’s reply: “International law provides Israel with a wide range of lawful actions, military and diplomatic, that can be used to counter the threat of rockets. Restrictions on movement of people and civilians goods as a means of punishment fall outside this range.”

            That’s a bunch of nonsense.

            1. There are more threats from Gaza than missile attacks. Ask Gilad Shalit.

            2. Diplomatic? What diplomatically can Israel do with a terrorist organization which is supported by population it governs?

            3. Until a year ago there was no military means to deflect short-range missile attacks. Now there are means to withstand only single fired rockets – a barrage would make it through at least partially.

            What I like about the leftists a lot is that your bunch can only criticize or come up with “visionary” ideas. As soon as it comes to some practical advice (ex. how to stop attempts to kidnap Israelis), silence is the only answer.

            p.s. By the way, restriction on movement of people and goods fall well within the scope of lawful actions: Gaza is in the state of war with Israel, and by laws of war blockade is 100% legal, as long as population gets its calories.

            Don’t like it? End the war.

            Reply to Comment
    4. dickerson3870

      RE: “The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has clarified that the ‘forbidden’ buffer zone in Gaza strip stretches 300 meters from the fence (the Israeli border), and not 100 meters as it previously announced… Israel recently reduced the area off the Gaza coastline which it allows for fishing to 3 miles (it increased it to 6 miles as part of the cease fire agreement ending Operation Pillar of Defense late last year). Under the Oslo Accords, Israel committed to allowing Gazans to fish up to 20 miles from the coastline.” ~ Noam Sheizaf

      MY COMMENT: This sounds a lot like Sharon’s philosophy of “maintained uncertainty”.

      SEE: “Permanent Temporariness”, by Alastair Crooke, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:
      EXCERPT] . . . It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness. . .
      SOURCE – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/alastair-crooke/permanent-temporariness

      Reply to Comment
    5. 1.5 million over 141 square miles comes out to over 10,600 per square mile. I find this incomprehensible.

      From 6 miles of fishing back to 3: sounds like the Egyptian brokered deal is indeed dead.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >1.5 million over 141 square miles comes out to over 10,600 per square mile. I find this incomprehensible.

        Than you should avoid visitng New York City at any cost – populsation density there is almost three times higher.

        • Density 27,550/sq mi (10,640/km2)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City

        Reply to Comment
        • There is currently a rather noticeable difference between the landscapes of Gaza and NYC, and the housing available. Do you suppose that the IDF is going to approve the transfer of construction materials so that Gaza Palestinians can start building their own skyscrapers? Also, NYC doesn’t have any buffer zone eating into it, and people in Westchester can take a walk without the nagging thought that opening the front door could mean becoming an unwilling participant in a game of Russian roulette.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            If the situation there is so bad, than why would not Gazans hold elections or something?

            I can see about zero activity to replace illegal Hamas’ regime.

            Reply to Comment
          • Dany

            So you say the Gazans have not the same right to elect facist scumbags like you do in your state of Israel? Is ee no activity to overthrow your illegal settler regime

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >So you say the Gazans have not the same right to elect facist scumbags like you do in your state of Israel?

            Oh, of course the do have such right. But also they have a right to be bombed and blockaded – as Israelis have a right to be exploded, kidnapped and stabbed.
            Action – Reaction, you see.

            The difference, however, is that Israeli scumbags (please, don’t call them “fascists”, it is an insult to Duce Mussolini)are at least switching chairs, a kind of democratic process going on and such, while in Gaza the Hamas government is illegitimate simply because no elections were carried out after four-year term.

            >Is see no activity to overthrow your illegal settler regime

            “illegal settler regime” is semantically meaningless, unless you are implying that the whole state of Israel is an illegal settler project ruled by an illegal settler regime.

            Reply to Comment
        • NYC has unrestricted commerce, not a closed boarder where supplies were limited to keep people “just above starvation.”

          I know, I know: if they will just do what you say, en mass, they can have fruit cake every day.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            NYC also have not declared war on its neighbour.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Peter Hindrup

      I would be a little care using the term ‘border’. ‘ …has clarified that the “forbidden” buffer zone in Gaza strip stretches 300 meters from the fence (the Israeli border),’

      Israel doesn’t have borders, remember! Arbitrary moving line would be more accurate.

      Much of the problem caused by Israelis is that the rest of the world will not treat them as finally South Africa was treated. Cut all contact and impose embargoes.

      The reaction, when it happens, will unfortunately target not only Israelis/Zionists but the many Jews across the planet who want nothing to do with these atrocities. The threats of the ‘Sampson’ option are sheer nonsense. While there are undoubtedly some depraved enough to destroy the planet, there will be many who want no truck with it. The such a move would be the end of Jewry everywhere, must be blindingly obvious to all but the extremist lunatics.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >… who want nothing to do with these atrocities

        By your logic Hamas militants are allowed to carry out attacks against Israel, while Israel has no right to defend itself against such attacks.

        That is probably the Zionist Entity is illegal and should be dismantled, right?

        Reply to Comment
        • Piotr Berman

          The “exclusion zone”, be it 100 meters or 300 meters is not self-defense but simply gangsterism, and so is attacking fishermen of Gaza and so on and so on. The list of unproved attacks on Gaza is long, and the blockade of Gaza exports does not have any justification.

          Israel engages in pointless shit and because of American protection, it can get away with it, but this stuff does not go anywhere. Like recent attacks on Syria, Israel is simply addicted to hyper-aggressive behavior.

          Reply to Comment
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