Saturday, April 4, 2015

Israeli forces shoot, injure 3 Palestinians in Gaza

Published yesterday (updated) 04/04/2015 13:25
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces injured three Palestinians after opening fire on them from the Gazan border east of Khan Younis on Friday.

Witnesses said the three were shot at in the al-Sanati area east of Khan Younis.

One was hit in their lower extremities while the injuries of the other two are not yet known.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the incident.

Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian civilians near the border since the ceasefire agreement signed Aug. 26, 2014 that ended a devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas.

In February alone, there were a total of 26 incidents of shootings, incursions into the Strip, and arrests, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire to ease restrictions on Palestinian access to the border region near the "security buffer zone."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Israeli forces open fire at farmers in central Gaza

Published yesterday (updated) 25/02/2015 17:02
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces opened fire at farmers in the central Gaza Strip on Wednesday, witnesses said.

Locals told Ma'an that soldiers stationed in military towers on the border east of Deir al-Balah opened fire at farmers in the area.

Farmers fled the area, with no injuries reported.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said "two people approached the border fence in a prohibited area and Israeli forces opened fire in the air."

Israeli forces frequently shoot at farmers and other civilians inside the Gaza Strip if they approach large swathes of land near the border that the Israeli military has deemed off-limits to Palestinians.

Israeli forces opened fire at farmers near Khan Younis on Tuesday, while a similar incident was reported near Rafah on Sunday.

According to UNOCHA, 17 percent of Gaza's total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land were within the buffer zone as of 2010, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gazans.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Israeli Army forces open fire at agricultural lands in southern Gaza

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Israeli Occupation Army opened machinegun fire at agricultural lands in southern Gaza Strip on Monday.

Eyewitnesses reported that the Israeli forces, stationed on the borders east of Rafah, opened fire at the outskirts of the city. This caused minor damage to crops with no casualties reported, according to medical sources.

Palestinian officials in the Strip said the occupation forces almost daily shoot at fishing boats in Gaza and agricultural lands on the borders in a “clear violation” of the calm agreement.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

IOF opens fire at Palestinian lands south of Gaza

KHAN YOUNIS, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) afternoon Thursday opened machinegun fire on Palestinians’ cultivated lands on the outskirts of Khan Younis, south of Gaza, with no reported injuries.

Eyewitnesses said Israeli soldiers at a military post on the southeastern Gaza borders fired flares amid intensive gunfire at agricultural fields, causing damage to some crops.

The shooting incident was not the first Israeli violation of the Cairo-brokered ceasefire deal with Hamas on August 26. The Israeli army had opened fire several times at citizens and their property along the border with Gaza and also attacked fishermen.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian man in northern Gaza

Published today (updated) 23/11/2014 16:42
An Israeli army watch tower and a tank are seen at the border
between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip, on Sept. 02, 2014, near
Khan Younis (AFP/File Said Khatib)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, medical sources and witnesses said.

Witnesses said Fadil Muhammad Halawah, 32, was hunting birds east of Jabaliya when Israeli soldiers shot him dead.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry, said Halawah arrived at Kamal Udwan hospital in Jabaliya with a gunshot wound.

Doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.

An Israeli military spokesman told Ma'an that two Palestinians approached the separation barrier in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Soldiers called on the two to stop and fired warning shots in the air, the spokesman said.

When the two Palestinians "refused to comply," soldiers "fired at the lower extremities, confirming one hit."

The spokesman could not provide any further information.

Halwah is the first Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip since the signing of a ceasefire agreement between Palestinian militants and Israel in late August, ending 50 days of violence.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian on Gaza border

Published yesterday (updated) 21/11/2014 22:18
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian was shot and injured by Israeli forces on Friday evening east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Ibrahim al-Nimnim, 22, was shot in the right foot in the vicinity of al-Shuhada graveyard east of Jabaliya.

He was taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital for treatment, where he was said to be in moderate condition.

Al-Nimnim was shot aftern he and a group of others approached the border and set tires on fire and threw rocks toward the border.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Journal: Farming in Gaza near the Buffer Zone

9th November | Rina Andolini | Khuza’a, Occupied Palestine

The farmers are rarely talked about. They blend into the background of the lands beyond the destroyed buildings of the towns. The reality is though, they are facing a battle themselves.

Khuza'a Buffer Zone in December 2012 (photo by ISM).
Khuza’a Buffer Zone in December 2012 (photo by ISM).

Many farmers have had their homes, and farmland attacked. Farm land attacked I repeat, I mean, who would ever have thought that land could be an enemy that needed to be struck by a missile?
Well, the attacks from the air have stopped, for now, although the buzz of the drones rarely hum a tune of silence, sometimes accompanied by the whooshing high speed winds that the F-16s bring with them.

The farmers situation is clear cut and simple; they have land and are in fear of tending to it. What is to fear when all you want to do is plough, and sow seeds, and nurture your land to provide food, shelter, and clothing to your family? How is it okay for a person to work in fear of being shot at, for doing nothing other than farm on their land?

The fence in the buffer zone is the cutoff point, so we should be able to go right up to it without fear of being shot at, or even worse, shelled, as the Israeli army rolls around in their tanks pretty much, round the clock.

Yesterday, the 8th of November, the farmers went to their land to start ploughing away at the soil to get it ready for sowing. They use a tractor. What happened when they went? The Israeli military shot in their direction. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but a tire was shot at and destroyed. These farmers struggle to even pay for contingencies such as these; work hazards caused by Israeli attacks, and why should they even have to? But they do.

So, they called several international activists here in Gaza, and said, “Please come with us to our land, we need to go there with the tractor and do our work but they keep shooting at us.”
Of course, we agreed to go and help, and even this morning, they rang two times, to make sure we were coming. They would not start their work without our presence.

This is their situation, they cannot work without fear of being shot at. It is as simple as this. Where in the world do you hear of such crimes against humanity occurring and resulting in no punishment to the aggressor?

It happens here in Gaza, in Palestine, all the time. The Israelis attack, and they continue to get away with it. The world’s silence is killing and destroying these people.

I met with a farmer, his name was Rami Salim Kudeih, he is 33 years of age, with a wife and five children. The youngest child being one month old, and the oldest, nine years of age.
I asked what he wanted to grow on this land and he said, ”wheat and lentils”.

”This is the season for it. The season may leave us and we will not have done any work because we are in constant fear of attacks from Israel. They have killed people here before on this land that is called Um Khamseen.”

”When the Israelis shoot, I feel angry and sad. A woman was killed in a nearby field too, within the last two years. My sister has also been injured whilst working on these fields, she suffered from a head injury but now she is better thanks to God, but sometimes in the cold, the pain comes in her head.”

The saddest thing of all, is that when I asked Rami, what he thought the international world could do; the world outside of the open air prison that is Gaza, his reply was indeed heartbreaking. It showed me that he had lost hope, that he is living with the situation as it is, with no sight for improvement.
‘They [the Israeli military], shoot often, they shoot in our direction, at the land, and alhamdulillah [praise to God] so far no deaths…but we never know what will happen.”

”The only solution is for the internationals to accompany us in the fields so we can do our work.”
I was expecting a response where he would ask the world to raise their voices and put pressure on the world leaders to put a stop to these crimes against humanity, but in fact, he gave a response which showed his resignation to the life that they are subjected to in Gaza. The life of living in constant fear of being attacked by Israel.

This is not how they should live, this is not how anyone should live, but the people of Gaza do. When will we do something to let these people live the life they have a right to and deserve?
During our time this morning out on the field, we were between 100 – 150 metres away from the fence, things were quiet, though we did see two Israeli tanks rolling around close by, and then go into hiding.

The farmers managed to carry out their work in peace and then we left.
The point is though, they should not need to have any internationals present, they should be able to go safely to their land without any worries.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian on beach in northern Gaza

Published today (updated) 29/10/2014 19:05
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man on the beach in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, medical sources said.

Gaza's health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma'an that a 27-year-old man was seriously injured after being shot in the thigh in Beit Lahiya.

The man, identified only by his initials "S.Gh." was taken to Kamal Udwan hospital.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed the incident, saying that two Palestinians had "approached the security fence" in the northern Gaza Strip.

He said Israeli forces called on them to leave, but when they "failed to comply," soldiers fired warning shots in the air, then at "their lower extremities, identifying a hit."

The Aug. 26 ceasefire agreed upon by Gaza militants and Israeli forces stipulated an end to hostilities, with Israel pledging to ease its crippling siege on the Strip and expand tight fishing regulations.

The sides also agreed to hold further indirect meetings in Egypt to iron out further details of the truce. The meetings were postponed to November in the wake of a deadly attack on security forces in Egypt.

Since the ceasefire was signed, Israeli forces have fired at several fishermen who they say have ventured beyond the newly-imposed limit of six nautical miles.

There have also been widespread reports of the Israeli navy opening fire at fishermen within those limits.

Before Operation Protective Edge -- which left over 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, dead -- fishermen were only allowed to fish three miles from shore.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Palestinian child killed by unexploded Israeli ordnance in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian child died on Wednesday after he touched an unexploded Israeli ordnance left over from the most recent offensive over the summer, causing it to explode.

Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that 4-year-old Muhammad Sami Abu Jrad from the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun was killed after he came into contact with the ordnance.

Muhammad was severely injured when the ordnance exploded as a result of contact, and passed away after beign transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Muhammad is at least the 10th person to be killed by unexploded Israeli ordnance, including six in August and three in September.

Watch groups have warned that the ordnance can be a particular threat to children, who often think the bombs are toys.

The Gaza Strip is currently littered with a large number of unexploded Israeli ordnance, a constant reminder of the more than 50-day Israeli offensive that left more than 2,150 dead, 11,200 injured, and more than 110,000 homeless.

Although Gaza police explosives teams have been working across the territory to destroy unexploded ordnance and prevent safety threats to locals, lack of proper equipment due to the seven-year Israeli siege as well as lack of resources more generally have hindered efforts.

Even before the most frequent Israeli assault, unexploded ordnance from the 2008-9 and 2012 offensives was a major threat to Gazans.

A 2012 report published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that 111 civilians, 64 of whom were children, were casualties to unexploded ordnance between 2009 and 2012, reaching an average of four every month in 2012.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Israeli military vehicles enter Gaza, soldiers open fire at farms

Published today (updated) 01/10/2014 11:20
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli military vehicles entered the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday and soldiers opened fire towards Palestinian agricultural areas, locals told Ma'an.

Twelve military vehicles entered Gaza from a gate east of the town of al-Fukhari in the Khan Younis district, witnesses said.

The vehicles reportedly crossed some 200 meters into the Strip, and soldiers scanned the area before shooting towards Palestinian farms in an apparent ceasefire violation.

Agricultural workers were forced to leave their fields when soldiers shot at their farms, the witnesses told Ma'an.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the incident.

Following weeks of Egyptian-brokered negotiations, Israel and Palestinian militant factions agreed to halt their fire in Gaza on Aug. 26 after 50 days.

The agreement stipulated that Israel would ease its devastating siege on the Strip, though few if any real changes have been evident in the month following the truce.

Indirect talks are set to resume mid-September to discuss specifics.

The Israeli buffer zone around Gaza was also meant to be reduced following the agreement, with farmers initially reporting that they were able to access their fields 100 meters from the border fence.

But a Palestinian farmer was shot and injured by Israeli forces on Sunday in northern Gaza after an Israeli army spokeswoman said he had come too close to the border fence.

Before Operation Protective Edge, Israeli forces routinely opened fire on those who entered the buffer zone, which ranged from 500-1,500 meters from the border and encompassed 17 percent of Gaza's total land area.

Since the signing of the agreement, Israeli forces have also repeatedly opened fire at and arrested Gaza fishermen.