Thursday, January 27, 2011

Limited IOF Incursion East Khan Younis District


At approximately 7am on Thursday 27 December 2011, Israeli tanks accompanied by armored bulldozers moved under sporadic fire about 300 meters inside the east parts of Khan Younis district. Bulldozers leveled agricultural lands that had been razed in the past. The incursion lasted for about one hour. No casualties or injuries were reported.


PCHR weekly report 20/1 - 26/1/2011: 1 worker killed 2 injured by Israeli UXO, 1 farmer injured by gunfire, 3 incursions

extracts from PCHR weekly report 20/1 - 26/1/2011:

A Palestinian civilian was killed and another two ones were wounded by the explosion of a projectile left by IOF in the Gaza Strip.

IOF continued to target Palestinian workers, farmers and fishermen in border areas in the Gaza Strip.
- A Palestinian farmer was wounded.

 In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 3 limited incursions into Palestinian communities, during which they leveled areas of Palestinian land, which they had already razed. 

Saturday,22 January 2011

At approximately 12:00, Ahmed Na'im Ahmed Abu Wadi, 23, from al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, and another two civilians were wounded as a result of the explosion of a projectile left by IOF, when the three civilians where near Malaka intersection in the east of Gaza City. The three civilians were collecting scraps of construction materials nearly one kilometer away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Ayman al-Batniji, spokesman of the Palestinian police, stated that Abu Wadi and another two civilians were wounded when they mishandled a projectile left by IOF. The two civilians who were wounded are:

1. Mohammed 'Abdul Khaliq Abu Wadi, 45, seriously wounded by shrapnel to the eyes; and
2. Ibrahim Sa'id Silmi, 20, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body.

At approximately 17:30, Fares Shaheen Abu 'Ajwa, 47, from al-Sha'af neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, was seriously wounded by a bullet to the chest. Israeli soldiers positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired at him while he was working in a cow farm belonging to his family, nearly 2,000 meters away from the border.

Monday, 24 January 2011 

At approximately 11:00, IOF moved nearly 250 meters into the northeast of al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of Palestinian land. IOF moved back to the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel ar approximately 17:00.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

 At approximately 07:30, IOF moved nearly 300 meters into Gaza Valley village in the central Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of Palestinian land. IOF moved back to the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel two hours later. 

At approximately 09:30, IOF moved nearly 300 meters into the east of al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of Palestinian land. IOF moved back to the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel two hours later.  


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Another young stone-collector is killed in Gaza

20 January 2011 / International Solidarity Movement, Vera Macht

It had been only eight days since the last innocent was killed. People die here one after another, killed one by one, without consequences, without justice, without an outcry in the media. Innocent civilians trying to make a living amidst the stifling four-year siege. Palestinian civilians, whose lives become only an entry in the statistics: “So that’s what I can do: register it in my notebook. It is registered, and there is an empty line after Shaban’s name. That is for those who they kill tomorrow,” wrote the American writer Max Ajl after the farmer Shaban Karmout was killed. It took eight days, and the place was filled. Amjad ElZaaneen was 17 years when he was killed on Tuesday.
Amjad collected stones that morning, the 18th of January, as he did every morning with his three cousins and his brother, the youngest of whom was eleven. Five boys, children, with a horse and a cart full of stones, about 300m from the border with Israel, and near to the village of Bait Hanoun. They had just loaded their cart full as they saw Israeli tanks and bulldozers coming to invade the land for an unknown reason. A group of resistance fighters approached the area, including fighters from PFLP, the Communist Party, to push them out and prevent them from again uprooting the land. It was a symbolic action: the country has been destroyed hundreds of times before by tanks and bulldozers, and the resistance the fighters can sustain is nothing in comparison to the brutal force of the Israeli army. Amjad and the others ran for their lives and arrived safely home.
But the horse was still there in the field, along with all of the stones they had collected with such difficulty, risking their lives to have some income that day. So they returned, thinking the situation had calmed down and that the tanks and bulldozers had withdrawn from Gaza’s land after flattening it one more time. But when they reached their horse, Israeli soldiers fired a shell at them, and Sharaf Raafat Shada, 19, was hit by a piece of shrapnel in the chest. Amjad, the oldest, tried to pull him away, to lay him on the cart to somehow take him to the hospital, but Sharaf was too heavy for him. So Amjad made the decision to try to reach Bait Hanoun in order to get help. He hadn’t gone far when a shell directly hit him into his belly, leaving a wound so large that he bled to death within minutes.
The young boys broke out in panic and ran off to get to safety. Ambulances and people living nearby arrived to try to rescue the boys, waving white flags, but that didn’t stop the shooting. It was a long time before they managed to reach them.
Ismael Abd Elqader ElZaaneen, 16 years old, is now in hospital in Bait Hanoun with bandages on nearly every part of his body. “We ran in all directions, but they fired about ten artillery shells at us. I got shrapnel deep in my back and smaller pieces all over my body. But I kept running nevertheless, until I got to the main road from Bait Hanoun.” Even the injured Sharaf somehow managed to reach refuge at the main street without being hit by the shelling again. The eleven-year old Abdel Qader Oday Elzaaneeen was slightly injured by shrapnel to his cheek. He was standing in the hospital and crying, visibly in shock, his cousin is dead, and his brothers are injured severely. “I have no idea why the Israelis have done this,” he says quietly. Amjad was too young to die today, by a grenade that has torn his stomach apart.
As his mother heard what happened, she collapsed in the hospital. Even as she regained consciousness, she continued lying down silently, her eyes closed. How can the world be still there if her son is no more.
The uncle of Sharaf, who is standing next to his bed, says: “The Israelis are committing crimes every day here. None of us civilians can enter his fields anymore. The brutality is escalating dramatically in recent times—farmers, shepherds, stone collectors—we are all murdered. They don’t have mercy on anyone, neither the elderly, nor children. People out there must begin to help us, because every day, every week and every month we have to mourn new injuries and deaths. Since 1948, we are suffering and it’s getting worse and worse. We don’t get support from anyone. But we need help. All Palestinians are potential targets. All of us. No one is excluded, no one is safe.”
Each of the relatives, waiting in the hospital, could be the next victim: as a farmer on the field, as a shepherd, or collecting stones. Today Amjad El Zaaneen was the next name on the list of innocent deaths, of senseless killings. On the long list on our laptops, on all of our consciences.

Updated on January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Witnesses: Israeli fire injures 1 near Gaza City

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli soldiers opened fire on homes east of Gaza City on Saturday evening, injuring one resident, witnesses said.

Gaza emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said the injured man was 48 years old, and that he was transferred to the Ash-Shifa Hospital for treatment.

Witnesses said Israeli soldiers deployed near the border randomly opened fire at homes in Ash-Shuja'iyeh.

An Israeli military spokesman was not immediately familiar with the incident.

Palestinian citizen wounded in IOF shooting
[ 23/01/2011 - 10:35 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- A Palestinian citizen was wounded east of Gaza city on Saturday night with Israeli army fire, local sources reported.
They said that IOF soldiers stationed east of Gaza opened machinegun fire at residential quarters in Shujaia suburb east of the city injuring one of the citizens.
Medical sources said that the 47-year-old man was hospitalized in moderate condition.

1 killed in blast east of Gaza City

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Medics identified one dead and two injured as stone collectors were hit by what was initially believed to have been Israeli fire on Saturday afternoon.

Spokesman of the higher committee of ambulance and emergency services Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma'an that the men were transferred to the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, adding that the two survivors were seriously injured.

A Hamas-affiliated website said an Israeli drone fired on the men, which it also identified as stone collectors. The website later changed its report saying the blast was caused by an unexploded ordnance.

Abu Salmiya later confirmed the report, saying a blast was let off when the collectors disturbed the earth over an explosive device.

Residents of Gaza City reported hearing a blast east of the downtown area.

An Israeli military spokesman said forces in the area were aware of a blast, but added that the military was not involved in the incident.


Workman killed by Israeli ordnance in Gaza
[ 22/01/2011 - 02:33 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- A Palestinian workman was killed and two others were seriously wounded in Gaza at noon Saturday after a piece of unexploded Israeli ordanance accidently detonated at them.
The three workmen were embarking on collecting gravel amid building remains at a border area  south of Al-Zeitoun neighborhood in eastern Gaza city when the explosion happened.
A spokesman for medical services in Gaza told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that a suspicious object exploded at a group of Gazan workmen which led to the death of one of them called Ahmed Abu Wadi.


Palestinian Worker Killed, Two Injured East Of Gaza City

Sunday January 23, 2011 02:13 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
Palestinian medical sources in Gaza reported that a worker was killed and two other were wounded in an explosion that took place near the Israeli border fence east in Al Zeitoun neighborhood East of Gaza City.
Medics moving the body of Abu Wadi to hospital - image Palestine-Info
Medics moving the body of Abu Wadi to hospital - image Palestine-Info
The sources added that the explosion resulted from an unexploded ordnance dropped by the army in a previous invasion to the area.

The man was killed as Ahmad Na’im Abu Wadi, 22, from Al Zeitoun neighborhood. His body and the two wounded workers were moved to Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza city.

The three were collecting metal and metal from buildings that were bombarded by the army during the war on Gaza. The collecting materials are recycled to be used in construction as the Israeli siege left the Gaza Strip without basic supplies.

The Israeli army issued a statement denying any connection to the incident, adding that soldiers “reported no activities near Gaza on Saturday”, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

It is worth mentioning that 13 Palestinians were killed in a number of Israeli strikes targeting the Gaza Strip in December.

The Israeli army claims that Palestinian fighters have stepped up their attacks along the border between Gaza and Israel.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PCHR weekly report 13/1 - 19/1/2011: 1 worker killed, 4 workers injured, animals killed and injured, 1 incursion

extracts from PCHR weekly report 13/1 - 19/1/2011:

On 18 January 2011, IOF fired y artillery shells at the northern Gaza Strip, killing a Palestinian civilian and wounding two workers who were collecting scraps of construction materials. Another two workers were also wounded by Israeli gunfire in two separate incidents on 16 and 19 January 2011.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted one limited incursion, during which they leveled areas of Palestinian land, which they had already razed.  

Sunday, 16 January 2011

At approximately 07:00, Israeli soldiers stationed on observation towers at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the north of Beit Lahia town fired at a number of Palestinian workers who were collecting scraps of construction materials from a site where the evacuated Israeli settlement of "Elli Sinai" used to stand. A worker, Adham Ramadan Subeh, 22, was wounded by a bullet to the left leg, when he was nearly 150 meters away from the border.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011  

At approximately 08:00, IOF moved nearly 300 meters into the east of Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of Palestinian land, which they had already razed. 

At approximately 14:00, IOF, which had moved into the east of Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip since 08:00, fired 7 artillery shells at a number of Palestinian workers, which were collecting scraps of construction materials in the southeast of Beit Hanoun town, nearly 600 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. As a result, Amjad Sami Ahmed al-Za'anin, 18, who was in the area, was instantly killed. Two workers were also wounded:  

1. Sharaf Ra'fat Shihada, 19, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body; and
2. Isma'il 'Abdul Qader al-Za'anin, 16, wounded by shrapnel to the abdomen and the feet.

A horse belonging to Sharaf Shihada was also killed, and another one belonging to Samed al-Za'anin was injured.

Wednesday, 19 January 2010

At approximately 14:00, Israeli soldiers stationed on observation towers on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of Martyrs Cemetery in the northern Gaza Strip fired at a number of Palestinian workers who were collecting scraps of construction materials. As a result, Ahmed Nemer al-'Er, 22, from Jabalya town, was wounded by a bullet to the left leg, when he was nearly 300 meters away from the border.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life and death in the buffer zone

16 January 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Vera Macht

Death comes quickly at a place like this. On sunny winter days, when the smell of the night’s rain is still in the air, as if it would have brought some hope for the raped, barren land of Gaza, overrun hundreds of times by Israeli tanks and bulldozers. The land between the foothills of the village of Bait Hanoun and the Israeli border, guarded by watchtowers, soldiers, snipers, helicopters and drones is a land in which death is a regular guest.
But despite all that, the 65-year-old Shaban Karmout probably had something like hope when he woke up on that winter morning. His house is in the 300 meter wide strip of land in the so-called buffer zone. He built his house 40 years ago, in 1971, when Gaza was already occupied by Israel, and yet he thought to have a future there for himself and his family. Shaban began to plant fruits, his land was full of palms and trees, lemon, orange, clementine and almond trees were growing there. He had a good life.
But in 2003, just at the time of the almond harvest, the Israeli bulldozers came in the middle of the night. It took them three hours to raze the work of 30 years to the ground. Since the Israeli attack in 2009, he could no longer live there, the buffer zone had become too dangerous, where his home was, which has now been declared a closed combat zone by Israel. He had since lived in a small rented concrete house in the middle of the refugee camp near Bait Hanoun, in Jabalia, cramped in a tiny apartment with his large family.
He went back to his land, every morning, and worked there until the evening. He and his family had to make a living from something, after all. And so this morning, in the morning of the 10th January 2011, he woke up with hope, around 4 o’clock, and left for his fields. Full of hope he was because he and his neighbors had recently received a new well, their old one had been destroyed by an Israeli tank incursion. The Italian NGO GVC had built the well, it was financed by the Italian government.
On that day he was visited by an employee of the organization, to see how his situation had improved. She had an interview with him, and he asked her to come into the house, as it would be not safe outside. As she left, he advised her to rather take a short cut, you never know. He told her that he himself still had to go into the garden once more to tie his donkey. The NGO worker had just reached the village of Bait Hanoun, as three shots fell. One hit Shaban in the neck, two others in the upper part of his body. He was dead on the spot.
“It’s like a nightmare,” the Italian said, stunned. “I will never see him again. From here to the morgue in two hours. ”
In the interview that he gave shortly before his death, he told me about the unbearable situation in which he had been living. “It felt as if someone had ripped out my heart,” he described the night in which he lost all his land under the blades of eight bulldozers. And he told how he and the farmers from the neighbor fields had risked planting yet again, you have to make a living from something after all, and had grown wheat. When it was ready to be harvested, it was burned down by the Israeli army. And he told how he and the farmers from the neighboring fields yet again had the courage to plant, the children have to eat something after all, and tried to grow wheat. When the workers went to the field to sow, they were fired upon by Israeli soldiers.
What he now makes his living from, he was asked. “I collect stones and wood, and I grow some crops in my garden,” he replied. Crops, for which he had recently gotten water, thanks to a donation of a well from the Italian government. Shaban therefore probably looked somewhat optimistically into the future, the well could have restored the income from his garden to him. This was his only income since it had become too dangerous for him to enter his fields. “At any time the Israeli bulldozers can come again to destroy my house, you never know what they do next,” he said. Whether he isn’t afraid to be there, the employee of the NGO asked him. “No, I don’t mind the shooting too much,” he replied. “Even if something happens to me, humans can only die once. And only God knows when I am going to die.”
His nephew, Mohammed Karmout, stood a bit apart from the morgue. “The Israelis know my uncle very well,” he says quietly. “He’s there every day, and the whole area is monitored by cameras and drones. They know he lives there.”
And so it is quite doubtful that only God alone knew that Shaban would die at that day, while he was tying his donkey, by three shots in his upper body.
Shaban Karmout is the third civilian being shot dead in the buffer zone in the last month. At Christmas, the Shepherd Salama Abu Hashish, 20 years old, died by a shot in the back while he was tending his sheep. Since the beginning of last year, about a hundred workers and farmers have been shot by Israeli snipers in the buffer zone, 13 of them died.

Updated on January 17, 2011

IOF artillery shelling kills Palestinian man, wounds two teenagers

[ 18/01/2011 - 03:51 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- A Palestinian citizen was killed and two others wounded in artillery shelling by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon, medical sources reported.
Adham Abu Salmiya, the spokesman for medical services, told the PIC that the shelling targeting Abu Safiya hilltop killed Amjad Al-Za'anin, 20, and wounded two other teens with shrapnel.
IOF troops had raided northern and southern Gaza Strip areas earlier on Tuesday only to be met with resistance gunfire, PIC reporter said.
He added that resistance elements blasted an explosive device near IOF armored vehicles, which was followed by intensive IOF firing at Palestinian homes and farms to the east of Beit Hnaun in northern Gaza.
Quds Press reported that an IOF army chopper fired a missile at northern Gaza, east of Beit Hanun, during an incursion.
In Rafah, the armed wing of the popular resistance committees fired five mortar rounds at the invading IOF unit east of the city.
In another development, the armed wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, announced that one of its cadres died in Khan Younis while on a "Jihad mission". It did not elaborate on exact cause of the death but only mentioned that he was 23-year-old Zaher Jarghun.


Palestinian Killed, Two Children Wounded In Israeli Bombardment of Northern Gaza

Wednesday January 19, 2011 04:19 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Tuesday evening that one resident was killed and two children were wounded , after the Israeli army bombarded an area in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
Al Zaaneen Funeral - Image by Palestine-Info
Al Zaaneen Funeral - Image by Palestine-Info
The sources identified the slain resident as Amjad Kamel Al Zaaneen, 20, and added that the two wounded children are 16 and 17 years old. The 16-year-old child was wounded in his chest while the 17-year-old was suffered multiple injuries to different parts of his body.

On Tuesday morning, soldiers invaded a number of areas in the northern and southern parts of the Gaza Strip and exchanged fire with resistance fighters; damage to Palestinian property was reported no injuries.

Also on Tuesday morning, three Palestinian teenagers were wounded in an area east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, when explosives likely dropped by the army in previous invasions detonated near them.


1 killed as Israeli troops raid Gaza Strip
Published yesterday (updated) 18/01/2011 22:14

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces killed one Palestinian and injured two others on Tuesday in the northern Gaza Strip.

Medics and witnesses said the three men were civilians, and that soldiers in an Israeli military post launched five shells towards the mainly agricultural area.

Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya identified the slain as Amjad Sami Az-Za’aneen, 20, and said two others were moderately injured and transported to the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for treatment.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces opened fire at a group of men who were handling a detonation device.

The attack followed a day of clashes as Israeli tanks and bulldozers entered two areas in the Gaza Strip, prompting retaliatory fire from armed factions.

Two factions said a joint operation fired on the northern force, while one faction claimed to have launched an attack at the southern troops.

Near Beit Hanoun, witnesses told Ma'an that there were four Israeli bulldozers and three military vehicles, while others told AFP that seven Israeli tanks and one bulldozer entered 400 meters into Palestinian territory.

Shortly after the reports surfaced, a statement was received by Ma'an from the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, the armed wing of the PFLP, and Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades, in which the groups announced a joint attack on an Israeli bulldozer.

The brigades said the attack caused the bulldozer to catch fire, and said immediately after the "sky filled with planes" looking for the attackers.

"The brigades will always fight to free Palestine," the statement said.

Second incident in south reported

In the south, next to the closed Sufa crossing, witnesses reported Israeli bulldozers digging up lands in the unilaterally-declared no-go zone, and said Palestinian resistance activists fired five mortar shells at the Israeli vehicles.

The military wing of the Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, said they had attacked an Israeli bulldozer in the south. They said in a statement that the fire was in retaliation for "ongoing Israeli aggressions."

An Israeli military spokesman said he could neither confirm nor deny any incursion, but later a spokeswoman told Ma'an that there were four mortar shells fired from Gaza which landed in the Eshkol Regional Council.

Israel has often demolished structures and cleared land along Gaza's border, citing security concerns.

Israel and Hamas are formally committed to a truce agreed after Israel's devastating 22-day Operation Cast Lead, which ended in January 2009.

But in recent months, militants have fired dozens of rockets into southern Israel, prompting retaliatory airstrikes by the Israeli military.

AFP contributed to this report

Monday, January 17, 2011

IOF shooting injures Palestinian worker

[ 16/01/2011 - 11:42 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- A Palestinian worker was injured on Sunday morning while collecting gravel from destroyed buildings north of the Gaza Strip, medical sources said.
Adham Abu Salmiya, the spokesman for medical services, told the PIC that the 21-year-old youth was hit with a bullet in his left foot.
The young man was hospitalized in moderate condition, he added.
IOF soldiers still insist on targeting unarmed citizens and workers along the Gaza borders bringing the number of casualties in similar incidents to 110.
Palestinian resistance factions have agreed on retaining calm along the borders of Gaza to ward off any possible Israeli war on the Palestinian people, but apparently the IOF does not wish for such calm to prevail.


Medics: Worker injured in northern Gaza
Published yesterday (updated) 16/01/2011 22:18
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – A young Palestinian man was shot and injured by Israeli forces Sunday in the northern Gaza Strip, medics said.

The victim, who was collecting stone aggregates, was identified by medical officials as 21-year-old Ramadan Subih.

Subih received a gunshot wound to the left leg while working in Beit Lahiya and was evacuated to hospital, the officials said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the use of gunfire but denied knowledge of any injuries.

Forces along the border identified a number of Palestinians approaching and ordered them to stop, she said, adding that they first fired warning shots in the air and not directly at the individuals.

Life in Gaza's no-go zone

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) – To some residents of the Gaza Strip, the crippling siege which Israel has imposed for over four years means much more than a lack of food, fuel, clothing, work opportunities, and construction material.

Gazan families who live along the border between the coastal enclave and Israel face serious dangers on a daily basis. The gunshots and artillery shells fired from the Israeli side reach farther than the no-go zone set by Israeli forces inside the Strip.

Muhammad Al-Masri lives only 700 meters from the border in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. He says he goes to sleep and wakes up listening to the whizzing of gunshots and the humming of artillery shells.

"From my garden, I can see Israeli military vehicles moving back and forth. The gunfire and the shells that come from those vehicles have several times hit my home and terrified my kids," he told Ma'an.

Damage from gun shots and shrapnel can be seen on the walls of the house and Al-Masri can't repair the cracks. Construction materials have been banned by Israel, but even if he could find cement or concrete, an ordinary citizen like Al-Masri would not have the money to buy it.

"There are several holes and gaps in the house, but there is no cement or concrete to repair them. Add to this that I impose my own curfew on myself and my family at night because who knows when a stray bullet could hit one of us?" says Al-Masri.

"I can't go even one meter away from home. My kids live a state of terror especially after their mother was killed. Where can these kids live if not on their own land?”

Al-Masri’s wife was killed by an Israeli artillery attack on Beit Hanoun.

"I can't tell who is next," he said.

Friday, January 14, 2011

PCHR weekly report 6/1 - 12/1/2011: 1 farmer killed, 1 incursion, airstrike

extracts from PCHR weekly report 6/1 - 12/1/2011:

 Thursday, 06 January 2011 

At approximately 23:45, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a space area in the al-Shouka village to the east of the southern Gaza Strip town. No casualties were reported. 

Monday, 10 January 2011  

At approximately 13:00, IOF moved nearly 300 meters into the east of Gaza Valley village in the central Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of Palestinian land, which they had already razed. They withdrew from the area at approximately 18:00.

At approximately 14:05, Israeli soldiers positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the north of the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun opened fire at a number of Palestinian farmers in al-Mazbala area in the north of the town. As a result, Sha'ban Mohammed Qarmout, 64, was wounded by several bullets to the heart, when he was farming his land, nearly 550 meters away from the border. He was evacuated to Beit Hanoun hospital, where he was pronounced clinically dead. At approximately 14:45, he was pronounced physically dead.  


Al Mezan: IOF Kill Palestinian Farmer and Continues to Use Excessive Force to Impose the Security Buffer Zone in Gaza


The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continues to attack Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, particularly farmers and other groups of civilians who are present within about a kilometer from the Gaza Strip's borders with Israel. The IOF attacks are part the enforcement a ‘security buffer zone’ inside Gaza, in which IOF use excessive, lethal force against civilians; including locals and farmers. In the afternoon of Monday 10 January 2011, the IOF killed farmer Sha'ban Qarmout while he was working in his field in Beit Hanoun town. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns these attacks and calls on the international community to provide protection for civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt); including Gaza. 
According to Al Mezan’s investigations, at approximately 2:5pm on Monday 10 January 2011, the IOF opened fire at Palestinian farmers who were about 550 meters from the border fence between Gaza and Israel. These civilians were in the Al-Shobaki area, north to the Agriculture School in the north of Beit Hanoun town in North Gaza district. As a result, a farmer, Sha'ban Mohammed Shaker Qarmout, 64, was killed from a bullet to the chest beneath the neck. He died at the Beit Hanoun Hospital about an hour after he was injured.  
The shooting occurred when there was calm in the area and just after an international delegation finished a visit to it.
Qarmout was working in his land in that area when he was shot. He lives in the same area, so he was well known there. 
The IOF has been using force to enforce the ‘security buffer zone’ along Israel’s border inside Gaza, frequently attacking residents near the border; including residents, farmers, and civilians who collect scrap and rubble from the destroyed structures there. These kind of willful attacks violate international law, which absolutely prohibits attacking civilians in such manner. 
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the continuous IOF violations of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War, of 1949. These deliberate attacks on, and killing of, farmers and other civilians who live and own land in that area represent grave violations of international law. They must stop and be punished. 
Al Mezan calls on the international community to intervene to ensure that protection is duly and effectively provided for civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including the Gaza Strip. It also calls on the international community to take prompt actions to stop the killing and harming of civilians and their livelihoods in the context of IOF’s enforcement of the ‘security buffer zone’.


Mizan: Israel imposing security buffer zone inside Gaza
[ 12/01/2011 - 09:16 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Mizan human rights center in Gaza said Tuesday that Israel is trying to forcefully impose a security buffer zone inside the Gaza Strip and target civilians.
The rights group said it strongly condemned Israel's continued restriction of access to Palestinians living on the Gaza border to their land and the deliberate assassination of some civilians as a serious violation of international law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which relates to civilian protection at times of war.
According to Mizan center's field investigations, Israeli troops opened sudden fire Monday afternoon at Sha'ban Qarmout, a farmer in Beit Hanoun city, while he was working on his 7,000 square meter farm, after a prevalent calm in the area that followed the departure of a foreign delegation.
The Gaza Ministry of Agriculture, for its part, said the Qarmout execution "shows the seriousness of the Israeli plan to establish a buffer zone to force Palestinian families out of their farms and homes on the eastern and northern borders of the Gaza Strip."


Medics: Man killed on Gaza border

 AZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A 65-year-old man who locals said was a farmer was shot dead Monday by Israeli forces east of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, medics said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the military was investigating the report.

Medics identified the man as Shaban Qarmout.

Israeli forces declared the area close to the Israel border a "no-go" zone, and say warning shots are fired at any individual who enters the area. Military officials said the area is "used by terrorists" to carry out attacks on Israeli targets, and have closed off the 300-1,000 meter-wide swath of land.

UN reports say the no-go zone encompasses some 20 percent of Gaza's agricultural land. Workers shot near the border collecting cement particles for re-use in construction projects say the high unemployment rates in the coastal enclave leave little choice but to seek work in dangerous areas.

Israel’s killing zone in Gaza

Palestinian farmers in Gaza working in the area of Israel's deadly "buffer zone."

6 January 2011 | The Electronic Intifada, Max Ajl

Ahmed Qudaih was skinny, in blue Converse sneakers and a black leather jacket, his mustache oddly making him look younger, not older, than his 27 years. His voice was even, his face rigidly composed, like human stone, as we sat down with him in the martyr’s tent in Khozaa, a rural village slightly to the east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Young men moved up and down the rows of plastic seats with brass coffee pots and tiny ceramic cups and platters of dates. Ahmed agreed to speak briefly about how the Israeli military had just murdered his 19-year-old brother Hassan Qudaih in the village’s borderlands.
Ahmed said that a few hours before sunset on 28 December, Hassan had entered the area where two nights before, there had been a firefight between the Palestinian resistance and Israeli soldiers, who were accompanied by several Apache helicopters and tanks. During the melee, the soldiers killed Issa Abu Rok and Muhammad al-Najjar, fighters from the al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. They were also members of Hassan and Ahmed’s extended family. Hassan entered the area to look around, to search through it for anything that had been left behind after the bodies had been removed.
Ahmed said that a sniper sitting in a jeep abutting the border shot Hassan in the leg. Hassan treated himself, partially stanching the blood flowing from the wound. And then, according to Ahmed, “the [Israeli army] let him bleed slowly for the subsequent two hours, preventing any emergency vehicles, or his friends, from reaching him.”
His friends made repeated attempts to get close to Hassan, but were repelled by shots from the Israeli border patrol, and eventually incapacitated by a sort of “gas, which made them unconscious,” Ahmed said. Emergency vehicles from the Palestinian emergency services also repeatedly attempted to coordinate with the Israeli army to evacuate Hassan, but they were denied permission to do so, while Hassan continued to bleed, Ahmed explained.
After some time, Ahmed said, a beleaguered Hassan “took out his phone and tried to call for help.” Ahmed said it was at that point that the Israeli military “shelled him from a border-area tank, decapitating him.” Ahmed speculated that perhaps they tracked Hassan’s phone signal to the body. Hassan died instantly, his head apparently severed from his body.
Ahmed explained that “The area where they killed my brother is flat, free of any obstacles that could have blocked their view. The soldiers must have clearly seen that Hassan was a civilian, without any weapons, and shot anyway.”

A family photograph of Hassan Qudaih.

Ahmed showed us a picture of Hassan, as well as his shrapnel-damaged money case. He looked in the picture precisely like the young man he was, barely out of boyhood — frighteningly young — a stand-in for the stunningly young population of Gaza, more than 50 percent of which is under 18, and a wrenching reminder that war and siege on Gaza has meant war and siege on children.
Initial press reports, repeating information issued by the Israeli military spokespersons’ office, put Hassan amongst four other youth “planting explosives at the security fence.” However, subsequent investigations showed otherwise.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reports that the five youth were roughly 300 meters from the fence, just on the edge of the “buffer zone” — the no-go area imposed by Israel covering a wide swath of land on the Gaza side of the boundary with Israel, in the east and north — when Israeli firing began. Relatives and neighbors agree: Hassan was unarmed and shot without provocation other than his presence in Israel’s unilaterally-declared “buffer zone.”
That buffer zone ruinously affects Gaza residents living in areas like Khozaa. Khozaa, and the whole rural area east of Khan Younis — which includes the towns and villages of Abasan al-Kabir, Abasan al-Saghira and al-Farrahin — have been the subject of numerous incursions, demolitions, shelling and shootings over the past several years, occurring with an increasing frequency in recent months. Homes with any exposure to the boundary with Israel are pocked with hundreds of bullet holes, and children are barred by their parents from playing in areas which are within the line-of-sight to the boundary after dusk.
Officially, the buffer zone is 300 meters wide, at least according to the leaflets the Israeli military dropped on all of Gaza’s hinterlands on 19 May 2009, showing a map of the Gaza Strip with clearly demarcated no-go areas. Unofficially, however, it extends as far as the bullets from Israeli snipers fly before they hit something.
According to a report put out by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 29 percent of Gaza’s arable farmland is inaccessible due to the belt of forbidden or dangerous land, which extends from 0.5-1 kilometer on the eastern frontier and 1.8 to 2 kilometers on the northern frontier.
In the southern governorates, the imposition of the buffer zone has hit agricultural production hard. For example, in the Khan Younis area, the administrative area of which includes the smaller zones to its east, agriculture and fishing-related activities plummeted from 24 percent of all jobs in the second quarter of 2007 to 7.2 percent in the third quarter of 2009.
If not enforced by physically present soldiers armed with sniper rifles, it is enforced by women soldiers manning remote-controlled motion-sensing machine gun turrets. The landscape there is marked by ditches, peppered by broken clumps of barbed wire. It’s a tableau of exposed dirt and sliced-off irrigation tubes. It looks like the war zone that it frequently is.
And soldiers often fire at anything that enters the buffer zone. Indeed, repeated calls to the Israeli military spokespersons’ office to ask how they made the determination that Hassan was a “militant” either were met with unfulfilled promises to call back shortly, or the response that “we can’t reveal that information for security reasons.” Nor has the Israeli military issued a correction in response to the repeated queries.
And the assault continues apace. Abd Alazeer Yousef Abu Rijla, Hassan’s uncle and the owner of the land where the young man was killed, described how on 29 December Israeli armor-plated bulldozers entered their farmland in Khozaa and ripped up the remainder of the crops growing there. The total area destroyed comes to about four dunums, or roughly 4,000 square meters. “We cannot go there anymore, even though we are three families that depend on that area,” Abu Rijla said. Although he said that he needed to return to his land, the area was far too dangerous for the time being.
Fifty-nine Palestinians were killed in Gaza by the Israeli military last year, 24 of them civilians, most in the buffer zone. The number of wounded — 220 — has been ten times that, with approximately forty of them occurring since the beginning of November. The tempo of rockets fired from Gaza has increased in response to ongoing Israeli provocations and pummeling, as well as the need to resist the 42-month-long siege.
Meanwhile, the next war slides in and out of view, as Israeli politicians and generals openly discuss timing and strategy. General Gabi Ashkenazi said that the Israeli military “holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip. We hope that the security situation in the south does not deteriorate, however the IDF [Israeli army] is preparing for any scenario” (“Ashkenazi: We’ll be ready if Gaza tensions escalate,” The Jerusalem Post, 27 December 2010).
Indeed, a cable released by WikiLeaks, dated 15 November 2009, confirms that planning for the next incursion began even while the Palestinians of Gaza were still sifting through the rubble of the winter 2008-09 invasion. Ashkenazi told a visiting American Congressional delegation that “I am preparing the Israeli army for a large-scale war,” likely against Hamas and Hizballah (“Israeli army chief was preparing for ‘a large scale war’,” Agence France Presse, 2 January 2011).
A few think this is just posturing, meant to tamp down rocket fire to a more tolerable level and more importantly, to incite massive and paralyzing fear amongst Gaza’s population. If so, perhaps it has worked: the resistance groups recently agreed to cease rocket fire for the time being, while most everyone I talk to in the streets worries that Israel will commemorate the biennial of the 2008-09 Gaza invasion by repeating it, while they grow tortuously frustrated by the stalled peace process.
All images by Max Ajl.

Max Ajl is a doctoral student in development sociology at Cornell, and was an International Solidarity Movement volunteer in the Gaza Strip. He has written for many outlets, including the Guardian and the New Statesman, and blogs on Israel-Palestine at

Thursday, January 6, 2011

PCHR weekly report 30/12/2010 - 5/1/2011: 1 incursion - evacuation of schools

extracts from PCHR weekly report 30/12/2010 - 5/1/2011:

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted one limited incursion, during which they leveled areas of Palestinian land, which they had already razed.

Monday, 03 January 2011

At approximately 07:00, IOF moved nearly 500 meters into the east of Khuza'a village, east of the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. The opened fired and leveled areas of Palestinian land. Two schools in the area were evacuated at 10:00 in order to protect children from the Israeli gunfire.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Civilian killed by Israeli military in Gaza

2 January 2010 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza
Hassan Mohammed Qedeh, age 19
On Tuesday evening, December 28, 19-year-old Hassan Mohammed Qedeh was killed by the Israeli military in the village of Khoza’a, east of the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. According to the Israeli forces, and subsequently repeated by various media outlets, he was a resistance fighter. However, witnesses in the area, as well as relatives, have confirmed that he had civilian status at the time when he was killed. Sometime before sunset, Hassan had gone into the area of the border where an Apache had killed two of his relatives, Issa Abu Rok and Muhammad An-Najjar, two nights before, on December 26—both of them members of the armed resistance. According to his brother Ahmed Qedeh, Hassan ventured into the area to examine the place where his relatives had died. Ahmed says that a sniper sitting in a jeep alongside the border shot Hassan in the leg.
Ahmed added, “Hassan treated himself, while the IDF let him bleed slowly for the subsequent two hours, preventing any emergency vehicles, or his friends, from reaching him. Afterward, they shot munitions from a border-area tank, decapitating him.” He explained that “the area where they killed my brother is flat, free of any obstacles that could have blocked their view. The soldiers must have clearly seen that Hassan was a civilian, without any weapons, and shot anyway.”
According to Ahmed, five of Hassan’s friends repeatedly attempted to save Hassan, but came under heavy fire, and were unable to do so. Eventually they were shelled with a kind of gas bomb which caused them to faint.
According to United Nations figures, 59 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by the IDF this year, 24 of them civilians. The number of wounded has been ten times that—220. And the count rises daily.
Hassan’s uncle, Abd Alazeer Yousef Abu Rjila’a, adds that the Israeli army came back to the crime site on the night of the 29th with a bulldozer that demolished 4 dunams of farming land. The man has not only lost three family members in a few days, but has lost his main source of income: most of his olive trees are uprooted and the water tank is destroyed. The man tried to reach his land twice on December 30th, but was forced to keep away as the army fired bullets at him to ward him off.
“Three families are dependent on me and that area: it’s our only source of income. I was already suffering, both psychologically and physically; I have high blood pressure and asthma, but now I can’t even reach my land, so how can I bring food to the table?” says Abd Alazeer Youssef Abu Rjila.

Updated on January 3, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Limited IOF Incursion north the As-Siafa area in Beit Lahiya


In the morning hours on Sunday 2 January 2011, ten Israeli tanks accompanied by armored bulldozers moved, amid sporadic fire, about 300 meters into the north of the As-Saifa area, which is located northwest of Beit Lahyia town, in North Gaza District. The Israeli bulldozers leveled the land that had been frequently razed in the past. The bulldozers also dug several deep holes before they withdrew from the area at approximately 2:30pm on the same day. No casualties or injuries were reported in this incursion.