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Gaza residents continue testing no-go zone

March 20, 2010 4:38 P.M. (Updated: March 21, 2010 10:36 A.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Palestinians on Saturday entered 50 meters into the Israeli army's buffer zone east of As-Salqa in central Gaza, near the Israeli military post at Kisufim.

Mahmoud Az-Zeq, one of the activists, described the rally to Ma'an as "clear, popular, daring, and a real breakthrough," adding that Israeli forces did not open fire at protesters, despite being carried out "directly next to Kisufim."

Protesters waved Palestinian flags, with young men reaching the barbed wire which separates Gaza from Israel by only 50 meters.

"The goal of this peace action is to re-guide the compass of the popular struggle toward the Israeli occupation, in addition to get Palestinians out of the state of despair and frustration in Gaza," Az-Zeq added.

On Thursday, Israeli forces opened fire on Popular Committee Against the Buffer Zone march as the group continued to test the military's policing of the no-go area.

At the time, an Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers identified "rioters" in what is considered a prohibited area and said they were hurling rocks at the soldiers. "A single warning shot was fired in the air," she said.

Palestine People's Party politburo member Walid Al-Awad told Ma'an that "these peaceful rallies are a confirmation of the continuation of these protests against the creation of the no-man zone that the Israeli occupation is trying to impose 300 meters along the border fence, which is confiscating 20 percent of agricultural land in Gaza."

He added: "Despite the barbed wire and the separation wall, these rallies come to affirm that the Palestinians are unified in confronting the occupation and settlements. These peaceful rallies will continue weekly across all Gaza districts."
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