Friday, January 14, 2011

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.