Thursday, August 16, 2012

Palestinian Farmer Shot Twice by Israeli Military near Buffer Zone

 Al Haq

During the past week, Al-Haq documented the case of a 18-year-old Palestinian youth who was shot by the Israeli army while he was working approximately 600 metres from the border with Israel. This case is the most recent in a long series of incidents involving farmers who were targeted by the Israeli army while working in proximity to the buffer zone.
The buffer zone is a no-go area extending along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel as well as at sea. This area has been enlarged over the years by the Israeli authorities without properly informing the occupied Palestinian population about its extension, and its current size and depth remain uncertain due to the fact that they are not physically demarcated. At present, it is estimated that the buffer zone restricts access to land up to 1,500 metres from the Israeli border. This area also extends over 17% of the territory of the Gaza Strip, including 35% of its total agricultural land, severely weakening the potential for economic and agricultural development in the Gaza Strip.

Muhammad Sidqi al-Qarra (18 years old)

Muhammad lives in the al-Zannah area, Bani Suhayla, east of Khan Younes, approximately two kilometres from the border with Israel. On 11 August 2012, at 5.15 am, he went to the family-owned farm with his older brother Ahmad and two cousins to help gather tomatoes and zucchini. The farm extends over 30 dunums and is some 600 meters from the border.
When Muhammad and his relatives arrived at the land, they saw other farmers working in the neighbouring farm. At around 5.40 am, while Muhammad was collecting some empty buckets to gather the crops, he saw an Israeli military jeep moving on the other side of the border. A few moments later, Muhammad heard gunshots coming from beyond the border, specifically from the place where the jeep had stopped.
At that point, Muhammad realised he had been hit and he fell to the ground. He started shouting and his relatives, along with the farmers from the neighbouring property, brought Muhammad to a car and drove him to the school ‘Abasan al-Jadida, two kilometres from the scene of the incident. There, an ambulance of the Palestinian Ministry of Health arrived and took him to the European Gaza Hospital. At the hospital, Muhammad was informed that he had sustained injuries caused by two live bullets in his left elbow and right thigh. Muhammad was operated upon and is still receiving medical treatment at the hospital. He was informed that he would require further surgery on his elbow. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 7625/2012)
Besides farmers, fishermen and rubble-collectors are also affected by the buffer zone restrictions and systematically targeted by the Israeli forces. According to Al-Mezan’s documentation, since the beginning of 2012 the Israeli army’s shelling and live fire in the buffer zone on land resulted in the killing of 19 persons, including 3 children, and the wounding of 87 people. In addition, the Israeli army has arrested 18 persons in the maritime buffer zone and seized 12 boats.
Al-Haq expresses its grave concern about the continuous restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip’s population and firmly condemns the unnecessary and disproportionate use of lethal force by the Israeli army against civilians.


Medical official: Farmer shot by soldiers in Gaza
Published Saturday 11/08/2012 (updated) 12/08/2012 20:02
A man was shot while tending his land along the Gaza border on
Saturday, a medical spokesman said. (MaanImages/File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A young man was injured by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, a medical official said.

Spokesman for the ministry of health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidrah told Ma'an that a man was shot in his right hand by Israeli soldiers stationed in a watchtower along the Gaza border.

The man was tending his land, east of Khan Younis, and sustained moderate wounds, al-Qidrah said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was unfamiliar with the incident.

Israeli snipers injure young farmer with live fire in Gaza

Israeli snipers injure young farmer with live fire in Gaza 13-08-2012,10:29

Al Qassam (Agencies)- Gaza-In the northern part of the Gaza Strip Saturday, Israeli snipers stationed in a guard tower at the border shot and injured a farmer who was tending his land and allegedly got too close to the 'no man's land' established by Israeli troops.
The 'no man's land' is a wide stretch of land in the crowded Gaza Strip that stretches up to 300 meters from the border fence, and encompasses a lot of Palestinian farmland. Palestinians who enter the area are subject to be shot without warning by Israeli troops stationed along the border.

According to the Gazan Health Minister Ashraf al-Qidrah, the as-yet unidentified young man was shot in his right hand and taken to a nearby hospital.

Palestinian officials have long called on Israel to stop shooting Palestinian farmers along the border, and consider the 'no man's land' to be an infringement on their sovereignty. In the past, children, mentally-disabled adults and dozens of farmers have been shot and killed in this zone.