Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian woman in southern Gaza

Dec. 22, 2015 4:15 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 22, 2015 7:36 P.M.)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday shot and wounded a Palestinian woman with live fire when she approached the border fence east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, local sources told Ma'an.Medics said the woman had been working on agricultural fields when she was shot. She was evacuated by ambulance to Nasser Hospital.An Israeli army spokesperson said the woman had "breached the buffer zone in the southern Gaza Strip near Khan Younis."She said Israeli forces fired "warning shots into the air, calling on the suspect to halt," and when the woman "refused," they aimed at her and a hit was confirmed.Some 20 Palestinians have been killed in the beleaguered Gaza Strip since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October. The majority in Gaza were killed during demonstrations at the border fence, while a 2-year-old girl and her pregnant mother were killed in an Israeli airstrike on their home in October.The United Nations has condemned the Israeli army's "excessive use of force, and violations of the right to life and security of the person."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Israeli forces shoot, injure Gazan farmer near Rafah

Dec. 13, 2015 5:59 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 13, 2015 6:39 P.M.)

Palestinians harvest a field of cucumbers on the outskirts of Gaza City. (AFP/File)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Sunday shot and injured a Palestinian farmer east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, locals and medics said.
Locals told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers stationed on the Israeli side of the border fence near the Kerem Shalom military post opened fire at Palestinian farmers working on their land at the time, hitting a farmer in his twenties.
Medics at Abu Yousif al-Najjar hospital said that the victim had been treated for wounds in his left leg.
An Israeli army spokesperson did not have immediate information on the incident.
Israeli forces regularly open fire on Palestinian farmers as well as fishermen whose work takes them close to a “security buffer zone” imposed by Israel on both land and seaside borders of the besieged enclave.
Ninety-five percent of Gaza's arable land lies along the zone that is routinely restricted to Palestinians in the strip, making it impossible for many farmers to access their land without serious risk, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.
On Friday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a 41-year-old Palestinian and injured at least 58 with live fire during a demonstration near the border fence.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Israeli forces shoot dead two boys, aged 13 and 15, in Gaza

Oct. 10, 2015 5:32 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2015 12:00 A.M.)
A Palestinian protester, looks on during clashes with Israeli forces near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip on October 9, 2015. (AFP/Mohammed Abed/File)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed two Palestinian boys, aged 13 and 15, at a demonstration in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that Marwan Barbakh, 13, and Khalil Othman, 15, were shot dead during the protest to the east of Khan Younis.
Medics initially reported that Barbakh was 12 years old.

At least 15 others were injured during the protest, the ministry said, although it did not provide further details.

The Palestinian Red Crescent later said that its ambulance crews had treated seven Palestinians shot with live rounds across the Gaza Strip, in addition to 21 who suffered excessive tear gas inhalation.

An Israeli army spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

Earlier Saturday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned the international community for "remain(ing) silent about Israeli war crimes."

He accused Israel of committing war crimes against the Palestinian people "through the execution of young Palestinian men and women at the scene of action," noting in particular the shooting of Palestinians following alleged stabbing attacks.

The two boys' deaths come after seven Palestinians were killed when Israeli snipers opened fire on demonstrations near Gaza's border fence on Friday, also east of Khan Younis.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli forces injured 145 other Palestinians by live fire or rubber-coated steel bullets during the protests.

The two boys' deaths brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israel's army to 20 since fierce clashes swept the occupied Palestinian territory on Oct. 1, with around 1,000 injured with live and rubber-coated steel bullets in the same period.
Four Israelis have also been killed, two of whom were settlers.

The Israeli army has come under repeated criticism over its violence toward children.
Defense for Children-Palestine said in a report last month that Israeli forces and Jewish extremists had killed at least 1,991 children since 2000.

Among those, 535 children were killed directly by Israeli attacks during the 2014 offensive on Gaza, nearly 70 percent of whom were under the age of 12.
A further 3,306 children were injured during the war, including more than 1,000 who suffered permanent disability, the report said.

Following the conflict, the UN said: "There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bed-wetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behavior at school."

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gaza demo death toll rises as 7th dies from injuries

Oct. 10, 2015 9:38 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 10, 2015 5:33 P.M.)

Palestinian men carry a man wounded during clashes with Israeli security forces, outside a hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on Oct. 9, 2015. (AFP)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Twenty-two year old Jihad Salim al-Ubeid died Saturday morning from wounds sustained after being shot by Israeli snipers during a demonstration Friday, Gaza's ministry of health said.

The young man's death brings the total killed by Israeli forces during demonstrations in Gaza on Friday to seven. The demonstrations were held near the border fence with Israel east of Gaza City and near Khan Younis.

A spokesman for Gaza's ministry of health, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed to Ma'an that al-Ubeid, from the Gaza city of Deir al-Balah, succumbed to his wounds after being shot and critically injured when Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians gathered around 100 meters from the border fence.

On Friday, Shadi Hussam Dawla, 20, Ahmad al-Harbawi, 20, and Abed al-Wahidi, 20, were shot and killed east of the al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood.Muhammad al-Raqeb, 15, and Ziad Nabil Sharaf, 20, were killed after being shot by Israeli forces near Khan Younis while Adnan Moussa Abu Elayyan, 22, was shot in the head and killed in the same area.

One hundred and forty-five other Palestinians were injured by live fire or rubber-coated steel bullets during the Gaza demonstrations, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an at the time that 200 Palestinians approached the security fence and hurled rocks and rolled burning tires at Israeli forces.

Israeli forces responded with live fire towards the "main instigators," she said, confirming five direct hits.Al-Ubeid's death comes as tensions continue to rise across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories following a series of stabbing attacks by both Israelis and Palestinians, violent attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians, and increased restrictions on Palestinians around the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City.

Fifteen Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and around 1,000 injured with live and rubber-coated steel bullets in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip since Oct. 1.Nine of those killed have been shot dead during demonstrations and clashes.Four Israelis have been killed during the same time period, two of whom were Israeli settlers.

Friday, October 9, 2015

3 Palestinians killed as Israeli forces open fire at Gaza demo

Israeli soldiers on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip. (AFP/File Menahem Kahana)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Three Palestinians were killed and 19 others injured as Israeli military forces opened fire at a demonstration by the border fence east of Gaza City, medics said.

Medical sources told Ma'an that Ahmad al-Harbawi, Abed al-Wahidi, and Hussam Dawla were shot and killed during the clashes east of the al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood east of Gaza City.

At least 19 other Palestinians were injured.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that 200 Palestinians approached the security fence and hurled rocks and rolled burning tires at Israeli forces.
Israeli forces responded with live fire towards the "main instigators," she said, confirming five direct hits.
The deaths in Gaza come amid renewed violence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on Friday.
In the Israeli city of Dimona, an Israeli teenager stabbed four Palestinian Bedouins who worked for the local municipality, seriously injuring two.
A Palestinian was shot and killed in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba after attempting to stab an Israeli border officer, police said, while a Palestinian woman was also shot in Afula after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli security guard.
Tensions had been mounting steadily for weeks across the occupied Palestinian territory due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinians seeking to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.
At least 900 Palestinians have been injured in seven consecutive days of demonstrations and clashes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, at least 60 with live fire, medics say.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gaza Strip: Attacks in the border areas and their consequences


Thursday, 10 September 2015 00:00

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by Israel as a “buffer zone” is not clear and this Israeli policy is typically enforced with live fire. The establishment of the ‘buffer zone’ is illegal under both Israeli and international law.

Preventing Palestinians from accessing their lands and fishing areas violates numerous provisions of international human rights law, including the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Enforcing the “buffer zone” through the use of live fire often results in, inter alia, the direct targeting of civilians and/or indiscriminate attacks, both of which constitute war crimes.

Following the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in November 2012, a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian armed groups was brokered by the Egyptian government, which included terms related to access to land and sea. In an online statement on 25 February 2013, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) declared that fishermen could now access the sea up to six nautical miles offshore, and that farmers could now access lands in the border area up to 100m from the border fence. However, both references have since been removed from the statement.

Then, on 21 March 2013, the Israeli forces’ spokesperson announced re-reducing the fishing area allowed for Palestinian fishermen from 6 nautical miles to 3 nautical miles.  However, on 21 May 2013, Israeli authorities decided to allow fishermen to sail up to 6 nautical miles.

Following the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip (08 July - 26 August 2014), a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian armed groups was brokered by the Egyptian government, which allowed fishermen to sail up to 6 nautical miles.  However, the Israeli naval forces have not allowed fishermen to sail up to this limit as all Israeli attacks have taken place within the 6-nautical- mile fishing area.


On land, inside Palestinian territory

Distance from the border fence, up to which access is permitted:

· Second Intifada (2000): 150 metres
· According to Israel (2010) :300 metres
· 22 November 2012: unclear parameters
· 21 March 2013: 300 metres

In reality, attacks against civilians take place anywhere upto approximately 1.5 kilometres inside the border fence. This constitutes approximately 17% of the total territory of the Gaza Strip.

At sea, off the coast of the Gaza Strip

Distance from the shore, up to which access is permitted:

· Oslo Accords (1994): 20 nautical miles (nm)
· Bertini Commitment (2002): 12 nm
· October 2006: 6 nm
· End of 2007 : 3 nm
· 22 November 2012: 6 nm
· 25 February 2013: unknown
· 12 March 2013: 3 nm
· 21 May 2013: 6 nm

In addition, access is consistently denied in the following areas:

· 1.5 nm in the north along the maritime boundary with Israel
· 1 nm in the south along the maritime boundary with Egypt


On land

· Approximately 27,000 dunums, 35% of the Gaza Strip's agricultural land, can only be accessed under high personal risk, as Israeli attacks may result in injury or death of civilians.
· 95% of the restricted area is arable land.
· After the evacuation of settlements (2005) and ‘Operation Cast Lead’ (2008-2009), the majority of Palestinian families living in the border areas abandoned their land and homes.
At sea

· Palestinians are completely prevented from accessing 85% of the Palestinian maritime areas recognised in the 1994 Gaza Jericho Agreement.
· Approximately 3,700 fishermen work under high personal risk every day at sea.
· Approximately 8,200 persons work in the fishing industry.
· Approximately 65,000 persons, including individuals who work in the fishing industry and their dependents, are affected by thebuffer zone” restrictions at sea.
· The area near the coast is markedly over-fished.




Four Palestinian civilians were arrested at the Beit Hanoun "Erez" Crossing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Israeli forces cross Gaza border, level lands

Israeli soldiers patrol the border with the Gaza Strip. (AFP/Menahem Kahana/File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli military vehicles on Tuesday morning crossed the border into the southern Gaza Strip and leveled Palestinian land, witnesses told Ma'an.Witnesses said that four bulldozers leveled land on the Palestinian side of the border fence in the eastern outskirts of Khuzaa town east of Khan Younis.Israeli soldiers used smoke grenades to conceal the movement of bulldozers and Palestinian farmers left their fields fearing possible shootings.Israeli forces have made repeated incursions into the Gaza Strip over the past year and have frequently opened fire on Palestinians who approach the border "buffer zone."In July alone, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights counted 27 incidents of shootings, incursions into the territory, and arrests.This included 18 shootings on land and at sea that left nine Palestinians injured, PCHR reported.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Limited Israeli incursion east of Gaza

GAZA, (PIC)-- Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) advanced a limited distance in Palestinian lands to the east of Gaza City on Thursday.

Local sources told Quds Press that several Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers advanced into lands to the eastern outskirts of the city in al-Shujaiyah district.

The Israeli forces opened machinegun fire at random and leveled lands during the incursion. No casualties have been reported.

The attack is another episode in the series of Israeli daily violations of the Cairo-brokered truce accord signed in the wake of last summer’s offensive on the besieged coastal enclave, which killed over 2,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian in southern Gaza

June 13, 2015 4:24 A.M. (Updated: June 14, 2015 12:19 A.M.)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces deployed near the Sufa crossing in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at and injured a Palestinian Saturday, local sources told Ma'an.An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the report, telling Ma'an that a "Palestinian suspect approached the security fence" and Israeli forces opened fire at his lower extremities after firing warning shots into the air. One hit was confirmed, and Israeli forces took the man to a hospital in Israel for treatment, she added. The spokesperson did not have confirmation if the injured man would be detained after treatment or returned to the Gaza Strip.Sufa was one of several crossings between Gaza and Israel to be sealed by Israeli authorities in 2007 and was permanently closed in 2009, however is sporadically opened for humanitarian needs, according to Israeli rights group Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement.The border area where Israeli forces opened fire Saturday is part of an Israeli-enforced "buffer zone" along the Gaza-Israel border as well as on the western seaside border of the strip.The parameters of the buffer zone are regularly changed by Israeli authorities, and Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire toward Palestinian civilians inside of the buffer zone since the signing of a ceasefire agreement that ended a more than 50-day war between Israel and Hamas last summer, according to documentation by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PHCR).Despite shorter distances set by Israeli authorities, PHCR reports that attacks against Palestinians have taken place up to approximately 1.5 kilometers inside the border fence. Constituting around 17 percent of the total territory of the Gaza Strip, the buffer zone effectively turns local farms into no-go zones.The buffer zone, which Palestinians are prohibited from entering, "is illegal under both Israeli and international law," according to PHCR.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Israeli military vehicles, bulldozers cross Gaza borders

June 10, 2015 12:22 A.M. (Updated: June 10, 2015 6:25 A.M.) 

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Palestinian residents in the Gaza Strip witnessed ongoing near daily incursions by Israeli forces Wednesday morning as Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers entered the strip, firing heavily into the air.Three bulldozers and four military tanks were observed by residents of the town of al-Qarara working on Palestinian agricultural land near the Gaza Israel border.Witnesses said the vehicles came from the Kissufim military base, reporting that Israeli forces fired gunshots into the air while the bulldozers worked.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she had a report of "routine maintenance" carried out adjacent to the border fence, but had no further information regarding what type of maintenance was performed.Israeli authorities maintain a "buffer zone" along the Gaza-Israel border, however its exact limits are ambiguous. Farmers whose land lies within or close to the buffer zone face near daily fire or threat of fire from Israeli forces, often preventing them from cultivating their crops, rights groups say.
Israeli forces enter the Gaza Strip on a near-daily basis in contravention of international law, with Israeli forces opening fire at civilians in the "buffer zone" on land and sea over ten times between May 26 and June 1, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
According to Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the buffer zone, which Palestinians are prohibited from entering, "is illegal under both Israeli and international law."Wednesday's incident also came days after Israeli jets launched airstrikes on a military training base operated by Hamas' military wing in the northern Gaza Strip in response to a rocket fired at Israel claimed by a group Sheikh Omar Hadid-Bayt al-Maqdis.The Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel was temporarily shut following the exchange, amidst an ongoing 8-year blockade of the strip enforced by Israel and supported by Egypt to the south.