Thursday, June 14, 2012

Factsheet: Displacement in the “Buffer Zone” Three Years after Operation Cast Lead


Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
Published as part of the “Child Rights at the Centre: Enhancing National Capacities to Monitor, Document, and Report on Child Rights Issues in the oPt” project, funded by Save the Children - UK.  The contents of this report are the sole responsibility of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and can in no way be taken to represent the views of Save the Children - UK.

What Is the “Buffer Zone”?

The Buffer Zone is a military no-go zone imposed by Israel, starting at the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip and extending a substantial distance into Gazan territory.  “Buffer zone,” or sometimes “access-restricted areas,” are terms generally used by Israel to describe the band of Gazan territory to which Palestinian access is effectively denied.  (The term “Buffer Zone” is used throughout this factsheet for simplicity’s sake.)  Israel treats this border area, which contains much of Gaza’s most valuable arable land, as a free-fire zone, meaning any Gazan resident entering the zone is at risk of death or injury.  It also regularly sends troops, including armoured columns, into the border areas to keep the lands razed of any built-up structures or agricultural activity.  Despite the mortal threat associated with entering the Buffer Zone, its actual width and area are unclear.  In May 2009, Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) aircraft dropped leaflets on Gaza warning residents not to move within 300 metres of the border fence, or risk being shot at.  In reality, however, Palestinians have been shot up to two kilometres from the border fence, and houses and buildings have been demolished at a distance greater than 300 metres from the border.

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Medics: 2 hurt in Khan Younis shelling

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli shelling east of Khan Younis injured two Palestinians on Thursday, medical officials in the southern Gaza Strip said.

Medical official Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma'an that two Palestinians were moderately injured during the shelling east of the Al-Qarara area in Khan Younis.

An Israeli military spokesman said he was looking into the reports.

Earlier, an army spokesman said a Palestinian sniper opened fire toward an Israeli farmer east of Khan Younis. No one was injured in that incident.

Witnesses said Israeli forces responded by firing heavily at land used by farmers, causing a fire to break out in the Khazaa village east of Khan Younis.

On Tuesday the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command said it fired four shells at Israeli forces southeast of Deir al-Balah.

The same day Israel's military said forces fired warning shots for "deterrent purposes" during routing operations in the Kisufim area adjacent to a so-called no-man's land along the border.

Palestinians also fired on a military vehicle the same day, the Israeli army said at the time.

IOF troops raid southern Gaza using tanks, helicopter gunships

KHAN YOUNIS, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) mounting tanks and backed by helicopter gunships raided southern Gaza Strip afternoon Thursday, local sources said.
Local sources told the PIC reporter that IOF troops in ten tanks and a bulldozer raided Khuza’a town to the east of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza Strip.
They said that the soldiers advanced 500 meters into the town and unleashed the bulldozers on a destruction streak as they fired in all directions.

A warning against Israeli attempts to create a buffer zone along the Gaza border

GAZA,(PIC)-- A Palestinian human rights organization warned against the disastrous effects of the Israeli attempts to declare a buffer zone north-east of the Gaza Strip, depriving the Palestinian farmers from their land and crops.
The occupation forces broke into Southeast Salq Valley in central Gaza, on Tuesday, accompanied by ten bulldozers, and eight tanks under intense fire.
Mizan Human Rights Center condemned in statement on Wednesday the sweep of agricultural lands in east Salq Valley village in the Gaza Strip and the continuous daily attacks in the border areas by the occupation forces.
The center condemned the continuing daily attacks by the occupation forces in the border areas, or what is known as restricted access areas, pointing out that the occupation forces are aiming, through bulldozing operations to create a distance of about 1500 meters along the border gradually, at the expense of the Gaza Strip residents.

Israeli machine gun fire burns down farmland in Khan Yonis

GAZA, (PIC)-- A devastating fire broke out on Thursday afternoon in a large tract of agricultural land east of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip after it came under heavy machine gun fire from Israeli military posts and infiltrating troops.
Safa news agency reported that the fire devastated all crops in many farmlands without any reported injuries among Palestinian farmers.
The Israeli military towers on the borderline also opened fire at Qarara town northeast of Khan Younis causing panic among citizens, but no casualties were reported.
This was not the first time the IOF torched Palestinian farmlands in Gaza. Palestinian citizen Yousuf Shaheen is one of these farmers who have suffered great losses when his wheat field was burnt by Israeli gunfire for 15 times.
"Before they level any land, they open fire intensely without prior warning, and if there were people in the area, they get killed or wounded," Shaheen said.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Israeli gunships fire at Palestinian cultivated land in Gaza

GAZA, (PIC)-- Israeli military choppers opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian cultivated land in southern and central Gaza Strip afternoon Tuesday, local sources said.
They told the PIC reporter that the raid targeted the eastern outskirts of Khan Younis and Deir Al-Balah in southern and central Gaza respectively.
The sources said that the plantations targeted were in Qarara and Abasan in eastern Khan Younis and the eastern flank of Deir Al-Balah.

Soldiers Invade Gaza

Tuesday June 12, 2012 09:01 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli soldiers, supported by four armored military vehicles, and five armored bulldozers, invaded on Monday afternoon, an area Southeast of Gaza City, opened fire at random, and uprooted farmlands.
Israeli Tanks - FIle Palinfo
Israeli Tanks - FIle Palinfo

The Quds Press reported that the military vehicle advances approximately 500 meters into Juhr Ad-Deek town, and bulldozed large areas of farmlands.

Earlier on Monday at dawn, the army opened automatic fire into areas east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Media sources reported that soldiers, stationed at a military base behind the border fence, opened fire in Al-Qarara town, Khuza’a, ‘Abasan and Al-Fakhary area; no injuries were reported but several children suffered anxiety attacks.

Israeli soldiers repeatedly open fire into border areas in the Gaza Strip under different claims, mainly claiming that the army observed people into the no-man zone, close to the wired fence. Such attacks left dozens of casualties among the villagers and day laborers, who work on Palestinian lands close to the fence.

IOF incursion in southern Gaza
[ 12/06/2012 - 12:02 PM ] 

KHAN YOUNIS, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) mounting armored vehicles raided southern Gaza Strip areas on Tuesday amidst heavy firing at civilian property, local sources said.
They said that the IOF soldiers advanced from Kissufim army base in tanks, jeeps, and bulldozers then started to level land lots.
The sources pointed out that the soldiers then headed to an area east of Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza and bulldozed land while firing intermittently at farmers and civilian neighborhoods.
IOF soldiers routinely raid Gaza border areas amidst shooting and bulldozing of land