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Israeli troops open fire at Gaza farmers harvesting wheat

May 31, 2014 10:52 A.M. (Updated: May 31, 2014 10:29 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces early Saturday opened fire at Palestinian farmers in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses told Ma'an.

Locals said Israeli troops stationed in watchtowers near the village of Khuzaa east of Khan Younis shot at Palestinian farmers as they were harvesting wheat.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was not familiar with the incident.

Israeli forces regularly shoot at farmers and other civilians inside the Gaza Strip if they approach large swathes of land near the border that the Israeli military has deemed off-limits to Palestinians.

The "security buffer zone" extends between 500 meters and 1,500 meters into the Strip.

According to UNOCHA, 17 percent of Gaza's total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land were within the buffer zone as of 2010, directly affecting livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gazans.
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