Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Medics: Palestinian hurt by Israeli fire in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was moderately injured Tuesday evening by Israeli fire east of Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip, medical officials said.

The man, 29, who was not otherwise identified, suffered an injury to his right leg, said Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmiya.

An Israeli military spokesman said the army had no record of such an incident.

Earlier, witnesses said Israeli forces entered the southern Gaza Strip and razed land.

Bulldozers entered 200 meters into the enclave in the al-Qarara area and turned over land, locals told Ma'an. The Israeli army makes frequent incursions to the area.

A military spokesman did not return calls about that incident.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Witnesses: Israeli forces enter southern Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces entered the southern Gaza Strip early Tuesday morning and razed land, witnesses said.

Israeli army bulldozers entered 200 meters into the enclave in the al-Qarara area and turned over land, locals told Ma'an. The Israeli army makes frequent incursions to the area.

An Israeli military spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Gaza: farmer shot in the leg with a targeted bullet

By Rosa Schiano
21 May 2012 | il Blog di Oliva

On Sunday, May 20, an Israeli soldier shot a young Palestinian farmer while on his land in Al-Quara, north east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza strip.
Waheed Ali Zer, 22 years old, was shot in his left leg and remains hospitalized in Khan Younis’s Nasser hospital. We went to go visit his family and Waheed’s brother Mohammed spoke to us about the events that took place on Sunday.
“After being shot, Waheed began to crawl before being picked up and taken to a first aid point. At the time, I was at university.” Mohammed is a mathematics student at Al-Aqsa University and he intends to pursue a PhD.
Waheed has three brothers and seven sisters, three of which are married. The Zer family’s land is only 500 meters from the Israeli border. Waheed’s uncle told us that the Israeli soldiers will open fire at any time.
“Here in the Kussufim area, tanks and bulldozers will often enter,” says Waheed’s uncle, “until three years ago, there were many trees, olive trees, but they have all been destroyed by the bulldozers. Also here where we are, a house has been demolished by a bulldozer. If there are no tanks and bulldozers available, the Israeli soldiers shoot from the control towers”.

Waheed Ali Zer, 22 years old - click for more photos

Mohammed told us that Waheed was walking his donkey when he saw a military jeep coming. Mohammed retreated back towards the tent next to his house. An Israeli soldier emerged from the jeep and shot at Mohammed from behind a small hill.
There was no warning, no bullet shots into the air. No notice, just one bullet, which was targeted directly at Waheed.
“My father carried Waheed in his arms while my mother cried,” one of Waheed’s brothers tells us.
We visited the land where Waheed was shot. On this land the family cultivates oranges, eggplants, wheat, and olives. “Our houses are very simple, we have no chance to protect ourselves,” Mohammed’s uncle told us. “The plants and the trees are scared by the Israelis, imagine us!” said Mohammed.
As I looked out across the land I noticed the proximity of military towers. One of the towers is particularly close to their land, with a machine gun visibly located on it. One of Waheed’s aunts approached us. “Our life is very difficult, for this reason the people go closer to the border to collect as much [harvest] as they can,” she says.
Waheed’s family comes from Be’er Sheva. They are refugees like many others after Israel displaced thousands of Palestinians, proclaiming their state.
We went to Nasser hospital in Khan Younis to meet Waheed. His left leg was wrapped in a bandage stained with blood and his bed sheet was also tainted with blood and liquid. He had an expression of suffering on his face after having been operated on while under general anaesthesia. The bullet aimed at him perforated an artery and a nerve.
“I had bought a donkey,” Waheed began to tell us, “and I was taking it towards my land when I saw an [Israeli] jeep coming. A soldier came out of the jeep and shot me. I fell to the ground feeling my head spinning. The bullet entered from one side [of my leg] and exited from the other side. I crawled and my father called an ambulance which took a long time to arrive.”
I asked him if he wants to send a message to the international community and he replied, “I ask for their solidarity with the Palestinian people. I ask them to stop the Israeli attacks.”
During our visit to the hospital other relatives and friends of Waheed arrived. One brought him some food. Waheed smiles to his visitors but his eyes cannot hide his grief. A cotton curtain separates him from the other beds of the crowded hospital.
A nurse arrived to tell us that we should go because the visiting time is over. I left Waheed with the promise of going back to his home for another visit. We will return to their area as an international presence while the international community continues to stay silent in the face of ongoing crimes against the civilians of the Gaza Strip.

Updated on May 29, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Israeli Incursion East of Deir al-Balah in Gaza

Wednesday May 23, 2012 09:40 by Heidi Williams - IMEMC & Agencies

The Palestinian News Network, PNN, reported that Israeli forces invaded an area east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip this morning.
Image PNN
Image PNN
According to WAFA Agency News, 5 tanks and 10 bulldozers entered the Gaza Strip from the "Kosufem military" Gate north east of Khan Younis, and moved north towards Deir al-Balah.

Farmers fear that the bulldozers will continue to reach their lands adjacent to the border and destroy their crops.

Israeli forces regularly invade the territory of the Gaza Strip, in the east and the north, and prohibit the approach of any Palestinian within a distance of 300 meters of the border preventing the use of large portion of Gaza's limited arable land.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gaza: Harvesting barley at Erez crossing amidst gun fire

By Hama Waqum
19 May 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza 

Ten Palestinian volunteers harvested wheat in Gaza’s northern no-go zone on Wednesday, May 16, only 350 meters from where the Israeli Apartheid wall encircles the Gaza Strip. Two weeks ago the barley was cut and gathered and on Wednesday, volunteers loaded the harvest onto donkey carts to transport it for sorting, in the face of Apache helicopters, tanks, and F-16 fighter jets.

Palestinian farmers harvesting barley near the no-go zone in Gaza despite risk of Israeli army attack.

The work began at approximately 8:45am in northern Beit Hanoun, and immediately an Israeli tank became visible on a distant hill. A few minutes later, a helicopter circled above and would remain there for three hours. At 9:10, a number of jeeps patrolled the border and by 11:30, one of the Israeli outposts fired 8 shots at a point slightly further than the farmland. Over the next hour, a total of around 30 shots were fired from the same outpost.
The volunteers offered to help the owner to farm his land, due to its proximity to the Apartheid Wall. A distance of 300 meters to the border is considered the ‘no-go zone’, in which the Israeli Government prohibits farming. Even farmers outside the no-go zone, however, come under regular fire simply for their proximity to the Wall. Volunteers from the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative team farmed for six hours, joined by International Solidarity Movement volunteers.
The team of volunteers successfully finished transporting the barley despite the military presence.

Hama Waqum is a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement.

Updated on May 20, 2012

Medics: Farmer shot in south Gaza, moderately injured

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A young Palestinian farmer was shot by Israeli soldiers while working on his land in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, a medical official said.

Waheed, 22, is in a moderate condition in Nasser hospital after suffering a bullet wound in the thigh, emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said.

He was working in fields near al-Qarara, north-east of Khan Younis, when a soldier opened fire from a military watch-tower, Salmiya added.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she had no record of the incident.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Israeli tanks fire on Gaza Strip, 7 injured

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Seven people were injured on Thursday when Israeli forces fired artillery rounds at the northern and eastern Gaza Strip, medics said.

Gaza medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma'an that two people were seriously wounded and five moderately injured when Israeli forces opened fire on Beit Lahiya, north Gaza, and east of Gaza City.

Most of the victims were farmers, Abu Salmiya said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said forces opened fire toward "several suspects approaching the security fence."

She said no hit was identified.

An Israeli army spokesman later added that "tank shells were fired towards the terrorists," near the Karni crossing east of Gaza City.

Meanwhile, witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli bulldozers entered the Gaza Strip on Thursday east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.