Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Israeli tanks invade central Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip, (Pal Telegraph)- Israeli military vehicles invaded Tuesday morning limited areas in the east of al-Buriage refugee camp in central Gaza Strip. No causalities were reported.
According to SAFA News agency, eight Israeli bulldozers accompanied by three tanks stationed at the east of al-Buriage refugee camp and started razing operation to the agricultural lands, terrifying many citizens in fear of being hurt by Israeli fire.
Gaza borders regularly witnessed brutal attacks since Israel targets every moving object got near the border fence, causing great damage to several farmlands that supported hundreds of families.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

PCHR weekly report 19/5 - 25/5/2011:

extracts from PCHR weekly report 19/5 - 25/5/2011:

A number of Palestinian evacuate Ramadan al-Daghma who was wounded by Israeli force during a peaceful demonstration in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis, 20 May 2011

 A Palestinian civilian was killed by IOF near the border in the central Gaza Strip.
-A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the east of Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip. 

 IOF continued to target Palestinian farmers in border areas in the northern Gaza Strip. -IOF fired at Palestinian farmers in two separate incidents, but no casualties were reported.

Friday, 20 May 2011

At approximately 11:30, IOF positioning at the border to the east of Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip opened fire at points close to dozens of Palestinians participating in a peaceful demonstration. They demonstrators were walking towards the border in the east of Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. Ramadan Mohammed Khalil al-Daghma, 47, who was participating in the demonstration sustained shrapnel wounds in the legs as a result. Al-Daghma was transferred to the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Yunis for medical treatment.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

At approximately 03:00, IOF positioned at the border to the east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip fired two artillery shells and bullets at Ibrahim Mohammed Ali Faraj Allah, 19, from al-Nussairat refugee camp. Faraj Allah was killed as a result. 

Following coordination done by the International committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a medical crew from the Palestine Red Crescent Society managed to evacuate the body of Faraj Allah.

Awni Khattab, 48, a paramedic who participated in evacuation of the body, reported that the body was only one meter from the border fence and that dogs ate parts of the abdomen and thigh as Faraj Allah was killed at dawn and his body was evacuated at approximately 16:00 on the same day. He said that it took them nearly three hours to find the body and that the body was dissolute.

A resident from the area reported that in on Saturday morning, 21 May 2011, he heard two artillery shells. Ten minutes later, he heard intensive firing of bullets. The father of the dead person said that he called his son at approximately 01:30 on Saturday, 21 May, and that his brother Adel called him. Ibrahim told them that he was near the border fence. They tried to call him later, but he did not answer so they reported it to the police. 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 

At approximately 13:35, IOF positioned at the border to the north of Shurrab farm, northeast of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers who were in their farms, nearly 650 meters from the border. Farmers were forced to flee in fear for their lives. Neither casualties nor damages to property were reported. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

At approximately 11:20, IOF positioned on observation towers along the border in the east of Beit Hanoun tonw in the north of the Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian farmers in their farms in the east of al-Qurman Street, al-Naayma Street and al-Masreyen Street in the east of Beit Hanoun. Farmers were forced to flee in fear for their lives. Neither casualties nor damages to property were reported.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Israeli forces open fire on eastern Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday opened massive fired at the eastern borders of Gaza Strip.
Witnesses told that Israeli military vehicles and towers stationed at the border fence opened fire at agricultural lands in the east of Gaza strip. No causalities were reported.
Security sources attributed the heavy shooting by Israeli forces to the foggy atmosphere in that area.
Pointing out that Israeli forces regularly and deliberately shoot in such atmosphere in fear over military attacks by Palestinian fighters at Israel .
Witnesses told that Israeli warplanes type”F16” yesterday carried out night raids and fired light bombs, terrifying many citizens who were asleep on that time.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

IOF Kills Palestinian Man Southeast of Wadi Gaza Village


At approximately 3am on Saturday 21 May 2011, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened fire and artillery shells at Ibrahim Mohammed Farajallah, 19. As a result, Ibrahim was killed. According to Ibrahim's father, Ibrahim was trying to smuggle into Israel from the border fence to find job when he was killed.

According to information obtained by Al Mezan, Ibrahim left his house which is located in the An-Nuseirat refugee camp in the late evening hours on Friday 20 May 2011. He went to the southeastern parts of the Wadi Gaza village. According to residents of that area, they heard the sounds of artillery shells and gun fire at around 3am on Saturday 21 May 2011.
After 12 hours of search, medical teams of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society found his dead body two meters away from the border fence. The dead body was admitted to Shuhada Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al Balah. According to medical sources, Ibrahim sustained direct shots in the right side of his body and his intestine was out of his body. He also sustained several wounds in different parts of his body. 


Palestinian shot dead near Gaza-Israel border
Published Saturday 21/05/2011 (updated) 22/05/2011 17:49
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager in Gaza early Saturday, medical officials and the army said.

The body of Ibrahim Mohammad Faraj, 17, from the An-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, was transferred to the Al-Aqsa Hospital, medics said.

A military spokeswoman told Ma'an that forces opened fire when the teenager crawled toward a border fence overnight.

On Friday, Israeli forces shot and injured a protester in southern Gaza.
IOF shooting kills teen, wounds another
[ 21/05/2011 - 01:02 PM ]

BREIJ, (PIC)-- A Palestinian teen was killed at dawn Saturday when the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired at him east of Breij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip.
The IOF command announced that its forces spotted the Palestinian while crawling toward the security fence and shot at him.
Local sources earlier said that the IOF troops opened intensive fire at agricultural land in the same area.
Spokesman for the medical services Adham Abu Salmiya told the PIC that ambulance teams retrieved the body of a 17-year-old youth from the area. Local sources identified the martyr as Ibrahim Farajallah from Nusseirat refugee camp.
Another Palestinian man was wounded on Friday after the IOF troops opened fire at worshipers offering prayers in the buffer zone east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip.
Local sources told the PIC that tens of citizens carried Palestinian flags and called for implementing the right of return for Palestinian refugees and for removing the buffer zone.
They said that the IOF soldiers fired at them and injured the man.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Soldiers fire on protesters near Gaza border

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces fired on protesters in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon, medical officials said.

One protester was injured in the incident east of Khan Younis, medics told Ma'an.

The protester was taken from Abasan village to the European Hospital for treatment, they said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army confirmed shooting one "inciter" in the leg as he approached a fence separating Palestinians from forces on the border.

Demonstrations organized on Facebook called for Palestinians to demand the right of return.

In response to the demonstrations, Israel's military is increasing a state of alert in Jerusalem and deploying more forces at its Syrian and Lebanese borders, Israel Radio reported.

More protests were expected in Nabi Saleh, where a busload of 50 soldiers had arrived, and Qalandiya, activists said. The two villages are near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The protests come less than a week since Israeli forces killed over a dozen demonstrators crossing into Israeli-controlled territory in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and from Lebanon.

Over 100 Palestinians were injured in separate clashes throughout the West Bank marking Nakba Day, the 63rd anniversary of the mass exodus of Palestinians amid Israel's creation in 1948.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

PCHR weekly report 12/5 - 18/5/2011: 1mentally disabled child killed, 103 Palestinian protesters wounded, including 27 children, 3 women

extracts from PCHR weekly report 12/5 - 18/5/2011:

Use of Excessive Force against Demonstrations Commemorating the Palestinian Nakba

On Sunday, 15 May 2011, IOF used excessive lethal force to disperse participants in peaceful demonstrations organized in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank on the 63rd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. As a result, 144 Palestinian civilians, including 47 children, 5 women and 4 children, were wounded. In the Gaza Strip, 105 people were wounded, including 31 children, 3 women and 3 journalists. In the West Bank 38 were wounded, including 16 children, 2 women and a journalist.  PCHR strongly condemns the use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations in the OPT and calls upon the international community to immediately take action to compel the Israeli government to stop its systematic crimes against Palestinian civilians.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, the incidents occurred as follows:

The Gaza Strip:

· At approximately 10:30 on Sunday, 15 May 2011, dozens of Palestinians began gathering approximately 1700 meters south of Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. People had gathered to participate in activities commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. At approximately 11:30, dozens of Palestinians headed towards the border fence near Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing. Ten minutes later, Israeli forces stationed at the border fired 4 arterially shells in the area where the Palestinians were gathering. Simultaneously, Israeli soldiers on watchtowers opened fire at the demonstrators. Israeli forces continued intermittently firing until evening, while helicopters hovered over the area also firing heavily at the area surrounding the demonstrators. Additionally, dozens of tear gas canisters and bombs which released a smoke were fired, causing fainting and neurological symptoms. As a result, 103 Palestinians were wounded and dozens suffered from gas inhalation. Thirteen of them were transported to al-Awdah Hospital in Jabalya, 6 ones were transported to Balsam Hospital in Beit Hanoun, and 84 ones were transported to Martyr Kamal Odwan Hospital in Beit Lahia. The wounded included 27 children, 3 women and 3 media people. 

The media workers who were also wounded are:

  1. Hussein Abdul Jawad Karsou', 36, from al-Thalathini Street in Gaza City. He works as a freelance journalist and cameraman for al-Shoroq Media Institution and also managing a page of Gazan News Agency on Facebook. He was wounded by a bullet to the left leg;
  2. Mohammed Ibrahim Mohammed Othman, 25, a freelance cameraman, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City. He was wounded in the chest; and
  3. Aasem Mohammed Shihadah, 25, a cameraman of the National Media Company. He suffered from suffocation due to firing bombs which released toxic smoke.

Additionally, three members of the Palestine Red Crescent Society's (PRCS) medical staff suffered from suffocation and fainted: Ahmed Abu Foul, 30, Director of PRCS's volunteers; 'Atiyah Morad, 25; and Ramadan Hoso, 28.

· At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces stationed at the border fence, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire near dozens of Palestinians participating in a peaceful demonstration in the eastern part of 'Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. As a result, two Palestinians were moderately wounded and were transported to the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Yunis to receive medical treatment.


Sunday, 15 May 2011

In another attack using excessive force, IOF killed a mentally disabled child near Nahal Oz crossing at the borders with Israel, east of Gaza City, by an artillery shell.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 16:30, Shifa Hospital received the body of Khamis Salah Mesleh Habeeb, 17, from al-Shuja'iya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. In a statement to a PCHR field worker, Adham Abu Selmiyah, Spokesperson of the Emergency Department, said that they had received a phone call from residents of Nahal Oz area, who stated there was a body near the border fence. Coordination was made through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and an ambulance headed to the area where the medical crew recovered the body of Habeeb at a distance of 300 meters to the west of Nahal Oz crossing. The body was transported to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. According to forensic sources at Shifa Hospital, Habeeb was wounded by shrapnel in the chest and the head from an artillery shell fired at him. He was killed immediately as a result of these wounds. It should be noted that Habeeb suffered from a mental disability

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nakba day in Gaza

18 May 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza

Nakba Day. The day of the Catastrophe. A day to mark the ethnic cleansing of 800,000 Palestinians from their homes. A day to remind themselves and the world, that one day, they will return to their homes, that they have not forgotten their land. Today marked 63 years of dispossession, 63 years of ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians marched north from Beit Hanoun to the wall; thousands of Palestinians marched toward their homes.
As we approached the wall the Israeli army barked out its hello. A tank began to fire over the crowd and into the sand dunes lining the road. The Israeli bulldozers had already thoroughly destroyed anything that was once on this land, outside of threatening the crowd there was nothing to accomplish by this shooting. It is a strange thing to be fired at with a cannon from a tank; you can almost feel the air shake when the shell explodes. The crowd did not stop, it continued forward, chanting against the occupation, chanting their love of their land.
Soon the stream of wounded began. From the front of the crowd men and boys carried by their friends, by whoever was standing near them when they were shot. They came in a steady stream; you could hear the tak tak tak of the Israeli rifles echo against the calm sky. In the West Bank, the soldiers are usually stationed on a hill, first comes the tear gas, and then come the bullets, usually rubber at first, later the live ammunition. In Gaza there are no pretenses, first the tanks fire their cannons, then the soldiers safe in their concrete tower start to shoot live ammunition into the crowd.
The crowd, maybe a thousand strong by now, is strung out along the street. Their only cover the concrete lane separators. Above them, Apaches hover, not for the whole protest, but they come and go; perhaps they will fire missiles into the crowd. It is pretty hard to imagine what possible use an Apache has in crowd control. Then again it is hard to imagine the possible uses of a tank for crowd control, yet off to the right of the crowd an Israeli tank shelters behind an earth berm. In front of them is a giant concrete tower manned by soldiers who shoot into the crowd. Underneath this tower there is some sort of room, apparently for people crossing the terminal. Occasionally you see soldiers there; they seem to be playing with a luggage cart. It is hard to imagine that they are afraid for their safety. Off to their left is another giant concrete tower, this one has a very large gun mounted on top of it.
Saber says: “On the tower in front of us there is a sniper, he does not miss a shot fired: every bullet achieves exactly the target. The tower on the left is fitted with a remote control machine that shoots projectiles with a caliber much bigger, those are illegal under international law.” The danger is increased by the fact that the direct line between the remote control gun and the protesters is obstructed by bushes, which obscures visibility and makes accurate aim less likely. None of the Palestinians are carrying weapons, none are a real threat to Israel. This is the first event since the agreements were signed for national unity: there are those who bare obvious signs of Fatah, Hamas and the PFLP. All sectors of the population are represented including women and children. Nalan a girl of twenty-one years, says “I wanted to go further in the front row, because is my land, and I wanted to go further. But my friends pulled me back and wanted to keep me safer …”.
The hours pass, the soldiers continue to shoot into the crowd. The wounded trickle to the back, shot one by one. The soldiers sit safely in their concrete tower firing into a crowd a hundred meters away. You can only imagine how they decide who to shoot. They can’t possibly feel any threat; they young men barely even bother to throw stones. The wall, the tower, are too far away for a stone to even reach them. The stones that are thrown are thrown almost on principle, if you are going to stand in an open street while soldiers shoot you from their concrete tower, surely you should do something.
Three young men try to put a flag up on a light pole. The soldiers start to shoot at them. They hide in a jumble of concrete blocks at the base of the light pole. When the shooting pauses, they try again to put up their flag. As soon as they emerge the firing begins again. This pattern is repeated several times. Finally the soldiers start firing some sort of heavy machine gun at the boys; everyone realizes that the situation has become much more serious. Soon, the boys will be killed. A young man from the crowd joins them, and tries to convince them to make a run for it, to leave the shelter of the rocks for the shelter of the crowd. He fails. Men from the crowd try to convince people to walk over en mass and take the boys out, they can’t convince enough people, people are too afraid that the soldiers will shoot them. Finally, the boys realize that they have to move; one by one they make a run for the crowd. Thank god they all make it.
The soldiers start shooting again; I feel a punch in the chest. Probably just a ricocheting piece of stone, the young boy next to me was not so lucky. When I look over he is being helped away, his face streaming blood. It looks like he has a hole in his cheek, like he was shot in the face. I never see him again, surely he wasn’t shot in the face, it is hard to imagine him living through that.
A boy next to me is shot in the leg. You can see that his leg is shattered even through his pants. When they pick him up to carry him to ambulance his leg hangs as if in two pieces. He doesn’t scream, he doesn’t say anything, but you can see the fear and pain in
his face. He seems to be about 14. What were the soldiers thinking? That this young boy, 100 meters from their concrete tower was somehow a threat to them? It is strange, none of the wounded seem to scream, perhaps you just don’t notice, I don’t know, but I don’t remember any screams of pain, just the look of fear and pain on young faces.
After about three hours of shooting live ammunition into the crowd the soldiers decide to try something new, well, new for the day, but familiar to all Palestinians. They begin to fire tear gas into the crowd. The crowd surges back to escape the tear gas. The soldiers aren’t very committed though, after one volley of tear gas they return to shooting live ammunition into the defenseless crowd. If this were Libya, Syria, the world would denounce the use of live ammunition on a crowd of unarmed people who pose zero threat to anyone, but this is Gaza, shooting unarmed demonstrators is a given.
A young man walks forward alone. He keeps walking toward the wall, you can feel the tension, the crowd is worried that he walks toward his death, brave but suicidal. The soldiers don’t shoot; he comes closer to the wall than anyone has in hours. He takes a Palestinian flag that has been left there; he walks slowly back to the crowd. He is greeted like a hero. The soldiers go back to shooting random young people from the crowd.
After leaving the protest we went to visit some of the wounded in the hospital. They were
already out of the emergency, resting in beds, six to a room surrounded by their families.
Ahmed Gomaa Abd Al Malik is 17 years old. His family lives in Beach Camp, but they are from Deir Sneid where they were expelled in 1948. He was one of the first injured in the protest, shot at 11 am. He went to today’s protest to return to his home, to return to Deir Sneid, the village of his forefathers, his land. He says that he will not forgot his land, Israel should know this, he will return.
Mustafa Saif Abu Saif lies nearby. He is pale, he looks tired. He is only 14 years old, one of the many kids shot today. His family are refugees from Jaffa, now they live in Jabalia Camp. He was shot near the wall. He had found an Israeli flag and brought it to be burned, while he and his friends were trying to burn the flag the soldiers shot him. He asks that the world wake up to what Israel is doing in Palestine, that they assist the Palestinians in any way that they can.
Yehia Adel Al Shareef is the oldest person we meet today who was shot. He is 23. His family lives in Beach Camp. He has no idea why he was shot, they just shot him.
Shadi Rayan is 19 years old. He wants to return to his homeland, to the village which his family was expelled from in 1948. He doesn’t want the world to forget that 63 years later, his family is still refugees; their right to return to their land is still being denied. He was shot at 3:30 while he tried to hang a Palestinian flag.
These are only some of the casualties. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, one 18 year old boy is dead and the total number of wounded is 105, including 31 children, three women and three journalists. The injured were taken to three different hospitals in the Gaza strip, and incredibly, some of those with minor injuries returned to the demonstration after being treated at the hospital. Others preferred to stay at the demonstration rather than be taken to the hospital; for example a man with a wounded leg, his trousers torn and stained with blood, tied a flag around his bleeding leg and continued demonstrating.
The shooting continued for over 5 hours. The Nakba has continued for 63 years. Hopefully we will not have mourn the 64th anniversary of the Nakba.

Updated on May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

IOF soldiers fire at Palestinian farmers

[ 17/05/2011 - 12:21 PM ]

KHAN YOUNIS, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened machinegun fire at Palestinian farmers in southern Gaza on Tuesday while reaping their crops, local sources said.
They told the PIC reporter that the farmers were harvesting their wheat and barley crops in Abasan Al-Kabira east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip.
The sources noted that IOF soldiers opened fire from positions behind the security fence at the farmers but no casualties were reported.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

IOF Open Fires at Civilians Protestors Marking Palestinian Nakba East of Khan Younis


At approximately 3pm on Sunday 15 May 2011, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened fire at protestors as they were marching on the 63rd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, which marks the mass, forced displacement of Palestinians in 1948 when the State of Israel was created. The protestors were near the separation fence between Gaza Strip and Israel east of Abasan and Bani Suhaila villages, east of Khan Younis district. As a result, two persons were injured. Al Mezan identified their names as follows:
  • Mohammed Jaser Abu Mustafa, 21, sustained injury in the right leg; and
  • Belal Mohammed Radwan, 19, sustained two bullets in the right leg.
Medical sources at European Gaza Hospital described their injuries as moderate.

Teen killed in Gaza protest marking Nakba

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An unidentified 18-year-old was killed and 125 others injured by Israeli fire during a march of Palestinians in Gaza toward the separation fence and Erez border with Israel on Sunday.

The group, estimated to number almost 1,000, marched in commemoration of the Palestinian expulsion from homes and villages in 1948 that accompanied the declaration of the state of Israel. The march began in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun toward the Israeli border.

A medic told AFP that several hundred people had bypassed a Hamas checkpoint just south of the border, and came within a few hundred meters of a concrete border barrier installed by Israel near the Erez checkpoint when shots were fired.

Medical officials also said there were 40 injured by what was described as "poison gas," which officials said was dispersed in canisters toward protesters. They said the gas was not the usual tear-gas deployed by the military, and was causing serious respiratory difficulties.

In a report released at the end of the day, the Palestinian Red Crescent said one had been killed, while 35 were injured by live bullets and at least 100 others were injured by shrapnel.

Protesters calling for the right of return to their homes in what is now Israel, identified an Israeli patrol car, and began throwing stones and condemning Israel's continued siege on the coastal enclave, which is populated by mostly refugees.

Teenagers began throwing stones at an Israeli tank, which opened fire towards them.

An Israeli military statement said "Soldiers fired in a controlled manner in the direction, and towards the legs of the leading rioters, in order to disperse them and prevent them from entering Israeli territory. A number of rioters were injured as a result."

Medics told Ma'an that at least 82 demonstrators were injured by artillery shells and gunfire. The injured were mostly children, and some were critically injured, medical officials said. One journalist was also injured. They were taken by ambulances to hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip.

The day, known as Yom An-Nakba in Arabic, commemorates the "Day of Catastrophe," when the state of Israel was created, turning an estimated 800,000 Palestinians into refugees.

Most of the people who fled to the Gaza Strip in 1948 were from the city of Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, and the towns and villages between Jaffa and Gaza City, as well as from areas in Beersheba and the Negev.

Estimates from the UN's refugee agency said some 200,000 refugees fled to the Gaza Strip. The refugee population now numbers 1.1 million there, three quarters of the population.

AFP contributed to this report

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Do you see that land? That land is mine and I cannot go there

14 May 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza

On May 8, 9, and 10th the farmers of Khuza’a harvested their wheat. Khuza’a is a village near the Israeli border in the southern Gaza Strip. For three days they visited the fields, starting very early in the morning and picking the fruits of their land. For three days the Israeli occupation forces fired from their automated turret while the farmers continued to harvest their grain. However, they did not allow the IOF to prevent them from going to their land.
The area where the farmers, along with three international ISM activists and five Palestinian activists traveled to, is about 450 meters from the border. Before the second intifada melons were grown there, along with other fruit trees and olive trees. “We came here to do barbecue, party and relax… the Israeli jeeps used to pass in the distance but did not bother us, they used to leave us in peace.” Ahmed said. Today the trees have been uprooted, the plants destroyed. The only thing that can be grown, because it does not require constant attention, is wheat. But the wheat needs several hours to be collected, and snipers have fun terrorizing the farmers during those hours.
On May 8th in addition to the activists there were eight farmers in the fields, mostly women, but also a child of 13 years and a girl of seven, all brothers and sisters of the AnNajjar family which resides in Khuza’a. They were on 10 dunams of their land, collecting the golden-yellow wheat in bundles and they thought that the presence of activists (foreign and not) could protect them at work, and decided to go farther than usual to collect plants to feed their animals. Where the wheat fields end the land is crossed by sand dunes caused by Israeli bulldozers; here grows thorn bushes and small trees that seem dry, but are a good food for donkeys and sheep. A man bends down to pull up some plants, extends his arm and points his finger at a dune a few tens of meters away, “You see that land? That land is mine and I can not go there.”
From the towers, the Israeli forces are not slow to remember who has the power to decide which land can or can not be farmed by these farmers. We heard the first shots in the air above us just before 9:00. Suddenly and without warning, three bullets landed within 50 meters of the farmers who were working their land. When someone shoots into the air you just hear the shot, but if the bullet is in your direction you can hear the whistle, and the sound of the bullet landing. The soil was sandy, and when the bullets hit, we could see three clouds of dust rise. Close. Too close to a group of nearly 20 civilians who were only harvesting wheat. Some twenty minutes later a man, furious, stopped collecting grass for his animals and said of the other side of the border, where a tractor is plowing a field, “Look, the Israelis can grow undisturbed. However if we go out they shoot at us. ”
On the second day another group, also linked to the extended family AnNajjar, started to collect the grain in a nearby field, which also covers an area of 10 dunam. There were more than 10 farmers intent on collecting the grain and some woman who were collecting grass. But what can they make from 10 dunams of land? Akhmad AnNajjar tries to quantify it: “In the past, we brought home 50-60 bags of wheat, now we are only able to make between 10 and 20: we are unable to take care of the land because we cannot reach it, the amount of grain is much smaller than it was 10 years ago.” From the control tower a shot was heard at around 7:30 and at around 8 o’clock, the motion of the jeeps and tanks across the border were beginning to become constant. On the third day jeeps and tanks continued to move constantly, raising clouds of dust on the land that today is recognized as Israeli. The bullets were not missing either. A man told us: All day they shoot. But when there is presence of internationals they shoot a bit less. ”
Khuza’a is a farming village that is located in the southern Gaza Strip, in the governate of Khan Younis. The center of Khuza’a is located about one km from the border, while about 80% of its arable land (from a total of 2000 dunam) is located in an area where there is a high risk of being hit by Israeli bullets or areas where the Zionist entity has unilaterally denied access, the so-called “buffer zone”. Many dunams cannot be cultivated, and access to some land is completely blocked by the occupation forces. According to a UN report, 35% of all of Gaza’s arable land is in “high risk” areas, and cases of farmers being seriously injured or killed while on their way to cultivate their land are not rare. The poverty line reaches 80 percent, the same for unemployment and the majority of workers who lost their jobs since the beginning of the 2nd Intifada are still jobless. Among the marginalized people are farmers and fishermen who depend on international assistance.
Akmad explains why despite everything, he and his family go there again and again to collect the grain: “We want to eat, and live a normal life. This is our right, this is our land, we will not abandon our fields, even if Israel continues to shoot and try to intimidate us.”
Updated on May 14, 2011

Israeli army fires on Gaza demonstration at Erez Crossing

10 May 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza

The Israeli army fired on 50 Palestinian and international activists protesting the Israeli-enforced closure of the “buffer zone” at Erez Crossing in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip today.
The demonstration, organized by the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative, was joined by activists from the International Solidarity Movement – Gaza Strip.
Led by farmers and other Beit Hanoun community members, it was forced to withdraw by machine-gun fire after nearing the Israeli wall and its gun towers at 11:45 am.
As protesters retreated, bullets struck the ground around them.
“We are fighting for our rights. This is peaceful, popular resistance,” said Saber Al Zaaneen, Beit Hanoun Local Initiative coordinator. “They opened fire directly at the demonstrators. Thank God no one was injured. This shows the aggressive way Israelis deal with these demonstrations.”
The illegal “buffer zone” was originally established 50 meters into the Gaza Strip, according to the Oslo Accords, and has been unilaterally increased by Israel since then.
Now reaching 300 meters according to Israel, and often stretching up to 2 kilometers in practice, it prevents Gaza Strip residents from accessing large portions of their coastal territory, including 30-40% of its farmland, without grave danger.

Updated on May 11, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

PCHR weekly report 5/5 -11/5/2011: attack against demonstrators

extracts from PCHR weekly report 5/5 -11/5/2011:

 IOF continued to fire at Palestinian civilians in border areas in the Gaza Strip
-IOF opened fire at a peaceful demonstration in the northern Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 

At approximately 11:40, IOF positioned on observation towers near
Beit Hanoun "Erez" crossing in the north of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip, opened intensive fire at a group of demonstrators and Palestinian and international solidarity activists who were near the landfill in the north of Beit Hanoun Agricultural School of al-Azhar University in Gaza in the north of Beit Hanoun town. There were approximately 80 demonstrators including 4 international solidarity activists. IOF opened fire as the demonstrators who were approximately 80 meters far from the border fence. No casualties were reported. 

Saber al-Zaanin, coordinator for the Local Initiative in Beit Hanoun and coordinator of such demonstrations in border areas in protest against the imposition of a buffer zone in Palestinians' lands, said that at approximately 11:10 on Tuesday, 10 May 2011, the demonstration started near Beit Hanoun Agricultural School and demonstrators walked northwards to the border area. As demonstrators were approximately 80 meters far from the border fence and as they were trying to put the Palestinian flag on sand dunes, a number of soldiers positioning on observation towers called the demonstrators via megaphones to go away, but the demonstrators did not respond. At approximately 11:40, IOF soldiers sporadically fired in the air in an attempt to cause panic to the demonstrators and then fired intensively. The demonstrators were panicked and fled the area especially as IOF soldiers began to fire directly at them. IOF continuingly fired for 10 minutes. After IOF stopped firing, the demonstrators left the area and no casualties were reported. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

IOF Open Fire on a Peaceful Demonstration against 'Security Buffer Zone' in North Beit Hanoun

Al Mezan

At approximately 11:40am on Tuesday 10 May 2011,the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened fire on protestors taking part in the weekly demonstration against the 'security buffer zone' near the border fence.
According to Al Mezan's field investigations, at approximately 11:10am on Tuesday 10 May 2011, a group of 80 Palestinians, four internationals, and some journalists moved towards the northern borders. Demonstrators were about 100 meters from the border fence when the IOF fired at them. The demonstrators left the area immediately. As a result, Fedaa' Az-Za'aneen sustained light injury in the hand as she fell on the ground while she was escaping the place.
Volunteers from the ‘Local Initiative’ in Beit Hanoun announced they would organize weekly demonstrations against the 'security buffer zone' in the border area to express their solidarity with Palestinian farmers who live near the borders and cannot access their land. The Local Initiative had halted their demonstrations for two months, but resumed the activity this week. They announced a similar demonstration to be organized every Tuesday.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

PCHR weekly report 28/4 -4/5/2011: 4 civilians injured including 2 children. 1 civilian imprisoned

extracts from PCHR weekly report 28/4 -4/5/2011:

IOF continued artillery shelling in border areas in the Gaza Strip
-Four Palestinian civilians, including two children and a woman, were wounded in the east of Gaza Valley village.
-A house was damaged.

A Palestinian civilian from the Gaza Strip was arrested in mysterious circumstances. 

Thursday, 28 April 2011

At approximately 21:10, IOF stationed on the border in the east of Gaza Valley village (Juhor al-Dik) fired six shells at the house of Jaber Ismail Abu Said, 66. Four shells hit the house directly. Four persons, including two children and a woman, were wounded as a result.  The area of the targeted house measures 100 square meters.  Two families composed of 10 members, including 5 children, live in the house which is approximately 400 meters far from the border. 

The wounded are:
1. Sanaa Ahmed Abu Said, 25, who sustained shrapnel wounds in the right leg.
2. Alaa Addin Naser Abu Said, 10, who sustained shrapnel wounds in the neck and the abdomen.
3. Misa Naser Abu Said, 5, who sustained bruises in the chest and the abdomen.
4. Mohammed Jaber Abu Said, 27, who sustained shrapnel wounds in the face. 

It should be noted that ambulances managed to have access to the scene approximately 30 minutes after the shelling, after having coordination with the Israeli side via the ICRC.  The ambulances evacuated the wounded and the residents of the house.  It should be noted that earlier, the house was under IOF shelling on 13 July 2010 when the wife of Abu Said's son, Naser Jaber Abu Said, was killed and another three persons, including two women and the house owner, were wounded.  

Sunday, 01 May 2011

At approximately 15:00, Israeli occupation authorities informed Khalil Mousa Issa al-Silawi, 41, that his son, Khaled Khalil al-Silawi, 21, is detained in Ashkelon prison in Beersheba in Israel. Al-Silawi said that his son was missing on Saturday, 30 April 2011, and they searched for him until they were informed about his detention. He also said that the Israeli occupation authorities asked him to appoint a lawyer for his son. They also told him that his son is denied visitation right until 08 May 2011. Silawi indicated that he does not know any detail as to how his son was captured by the Israeli occupation authorities. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Family house shelled: two children, a woman and a man injured

30 April 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza

“I dreamt of my wife last night, she said the day would have a surprise in store for me”. Nasser Abu Said (37) is pleased: an NGO has confirmed a 2000 dollar contribution to the construction of his new house. He often smiles, but his face is predominantly characterized with the traces of worries from his daily struggle for survival. I think how good it is to see him laugh, it reminds me of the happy family picture I saw of him with his wife and five children. That must have been shortly before last year’s atrocity which has caused for physical and psychological displacement of his family. On July 13th 2010, on a warm summer evening that the Abu Said family was enjoying outside, the Israeli Occupation Forces attacked them. “Five tank shells and a flechette shell”, Nasser told me, again, two days ago, with blank expression. The flechettes riddled the body of his wife, and while ambulances were prevented from entering the area, she died. Her five children, aged 3 to 12, watched her succumb and saw how her body grew lifeless.
In the evening of April 28th, Nasser was still cherishing his dream of his wife, whilelaying in the bedroom, when all of a sudden, the Israeli Occupation Forces attacked the house at 8:10 pm. Within five minutes, four shells were fired from a tank, stationed by an Israeli base by the border, 3 kilometers from the family house. The first one went straight through the bedroom wall, were Nasser was resting. The second and third shells passed through the corridor where three of his children were playing and the forth shell hit the bedroom a second time.
“It was dark, the electricity cut as soon as the attack began. I was afraid to move, even afraid to turn on the flashlight on my mobile. I was afraid that they would shell again if they would see any movement. But then I heard the cries of my children, calling out to me to get them out from under the rubble. I went into the corridor and saw Ala’ under the stones, but could only see Maisa’s hand sticking out from under the rubble”, says Nasser. “It was terrible. I didn’t know where my other children were and feared they had been killed.”
After approximately 40 minutes of utter fear, it turned out that Jaber (3),Baha (7) and Sadi (9) were outside with their grandparents and were physically ok.
“Ala’ saw how I was panicking and just answered that he was fine when I got him from under the rubble. It was only when the ambulances arrived that he told me of his injuries”, says Nasser.
Both Maisa and Ala’ had been injured by shrapnel and were taken to Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Baleh, together with Nassers’s brother, Mohammed Abu Said (43) and his wife Sana’. Mohammed has a crack in his skull, a swollen eye and his face is scratched, while Sana’ has shrapnel in her foot.
Five year old Maisa, is sitting barefoot in her pink track suit at the end of the hospital bed. She looks pale, but then I realize that she is covered in dust of the stones that fell on her when the shells crashed through the walls of her house. She puts on a courageous smile and shows me the shrapnel wound in her hand. She’s staying in the hospital overnight as she has trouble breathing. Next to her lies her eldest brother Ala’, who is suffering; his eyes flicker around nervously. His face cramps when the doctor pushes his belly softly. He tries to turn his face, but realizes there’s another wound in his neck and panics with tears in his eyes. His family members stand by in shock: “They are children! It’s outrageous!”
The Abu Said family house is situated in Johr Al-Dik’s farming land, exactly 340 meters from the border with Israel. Currently, 14 people live in the house: Nasser and his five children live on the second floor, with his parents, while his brother lives on the ground floor with his wife, two children and his sister. Other families have evacuated the area in the past decade, because of the danger, but the Abu Said family lacks resources to relocate to a safer area. Incursions with bulldozers and tanks take place every month, while gunfire is heard on an almost daily basis. These bullets pose a direct danger: in the past year, the house has been shot at on different occasions, the children have been trapped by gunfire while playing and their grandparents have been shot at while doing nothing more threatening than drinking coffee and tea by the house.
After his wife was killed, Nasser pitched a tent, a couple of hundred meters away from the house, hoping for it to be a safer haven for his traumatized children. During last month’s escalation, he moved back into the house, because how much protection can a tent offer against missiles and bombs? Once things grew calmer, he and his children spent their nights in the tents again. But they moved out again after the children had caught two big black scorpions by their beds.
Nasser has been lobbying different organizations to build him a new house, because he isafraid of a new Israeli assault. Some of his requests have been negatively answered, but most have disappeared in the NGO’s indigestible pile of bureaucracy. “Maybe they will help me now, now my house is destroyed. It’s just a shame that my wife had to be killed again; all of her belongings are destroyed in this attack. It’s very painful to lose the things she cherished.”

Updated on May 2, 2011