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Israeli forces open fire at farmers in central Gaza

Feb. 25, 2015 4:54 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 27, 2015 7:22 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces opened fire at farmers in the central Gaza Strip on Wednesday, witnesses said.

Locals told Ma'an that soldiers stationed in military towers on the border east of Deir al-Balah opened fire at farmers in the area.

Farmers fled the area, with no injuries reported.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said "two people approached the border fence in a prohibited area and Israeli forces opened fire in the air."

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.

Israeli forces opened fire at farmers near Khan Younis on Tuesday, while a similar incident was reported near Rafah on Sunday.

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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