Monday, May 27
Latest News
  1. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  2. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  3. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  4. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  5. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  6. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  7. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp
  8. Israeli forces attack, injure Palestinian youths in Jerusalem
  9. Germany to condemn BDS movement as 'anti-Semitic'
  10. FM to UK Parliament: Two-state solution could reach point of no return

Israel forces open fire on Palestinian farmers in southern Gaza

May 8, 2016 11:27 A.M. (Updated: May 8, 2016 6:30 P.M.)
An Israeli soldier uses binoculars as they search for Palestinian militants in the northern area of the Israeli border with Gaza Strip, on July 21 2014. (AFP/Menahem Kahana, File)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Sunday morning opened fire on Palestinians farmers in the southern Gaza Strip, local sources said.

Locals told Ma’an Israeli forces deployed east of Khan Yunis opened fire on farmers, preventing them from reaching their lands. No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they could not confirm the incident.

The incident comes after Israeli forces targeted the southern region of the small Palestinian territory with airstrikes for four consecutive days beginning Wednesday evening. Several were injured and a Palestinian woman was killed by Israeli shelling.

Israel said airstrikes were launched in response to Palestinian resistance groups targeting its troops with mortar rounds in an attempt to thwart Israeli military excavation activities in search of Hamas-made tunnels. However, Israel’s regular incursions inside Gaza’s border areas were perceived by many as the instigator of the hostilities.

The exchange was seen as an unusual escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip since a 2014 ceasefire was brokered after Israel’s devastating 50-day assault on the besieged coastal enclave that left some 2,200 dead and 11,000 injured.

Hamas, Gaza’s de facto ruler, had widely observed the 2014 ceasefire; Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yalon in March said Hamas “hasn't fired a bullet” since the war, and following Thursday's hostilities, Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted a senior Israeli army officer as saying that Hamas had even been instrumental in preventing terrorist attacks and rocket fire directed at Israel.

However in the almost two years since the ceasefire was declared, regular violations have been committed on the Israeli side.

Israeli bulldozers frequently enter Gaza territory, carrying out land-leveling and excavation operations while accompanied by military vehicles, with four such incursions recorded by the UN between April 26 and May 2.

On a near daily basis, the Israeli army fires "warning shots" on Palestinian fisherman, farmers, and shepherds entering the Israeli-enforced “buffer zone,” implemented after Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip a decade ago.

Due to the high frequency of the attacks, live fire often goes unreported.

While Israel typically cites security concerns when targeting Palestinian agricultural areas, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights has reported in the past that fishermen are often targeted when they pose no threat.

Approximately 35 percent of Palestinian agricultural land in Gaza is inaccessible without high personal risk, according to the center.

In 2015, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen at least 139 times, killing three, wounding dozens, and damaging at least 16 fishing boats, according to the UN Agency for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Israeli forces also regularly open fire on Palestinian protesters during Friday demonstrations held along Gaza’s border, with injuries sustained by live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets reported nearly every week. At least 25 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces in Gaza clashes since the beginning of October, according to UN documentation.

Most Read
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015