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Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers in southern Gaza

April 23, 2016 12:40 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2016 6:15 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers on Saturday morning in the southern Gaza Strip, locals said.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces stationed near the borderline along Khan Yunis opened fire on agricultural lands where the farmers were working.  No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

Israeli military forces routinely enter the Gaza Strip near the “buffer zone,” which lies on the border between the besieged enclave and Israel.

Israeli military activities, which have become almost daily occurrences, often interfere with Palestinian farmers whose land lies in the area.

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

The Israeli army says the use of live fire is necessary to deter potential "security threats." However, the practice has destroyed much of both the agricultural and fishing sectors of the impoverished coastal enclave, which has been under Israeli blockade for nearly a decade.

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