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Israeli forces open fire at Palestinians in southern Gaza

Feb. 13, 2015 11:53 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 13, 2015 7:14 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian homes and farmers in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday, locals told Ma'an.

Israeli soldiers deployed east of Khan Younis reportedly fired at Palestinian homes and farmers in the area, causing material damage.

Witnesses said the soldiers were trying to force farmers to stop working on their land in the area.

No injuries were reported.

Israeli forces frequently 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, effectively turning local farms into no-go zones.

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 the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gazans.

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