Israel Opens Fire at Farmers in Gaza

KHAN YOUNES, February 1, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli army patrols Sunday opened fire at Palestinian farmers working east of Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip, according to WAFA correspondent.

Israeli soldiers, stationed at border watchtowers, opened live fire and shot smoke bombs at the unarmed farmers, forcing them to leave their lands. There were no reports of casualties.

Israeli army routinely opens fire at Palestinian fishermen and farmlands along the Gaza border, violating a ceasefire deal reached between Israel and the Palestinian factions in Gaza last August.

The Israeli and Palestinian sides reached an Egypt-brokered open-ended ceasefire deal on 26 August to end the 51-day-long Israeli onslaught on the Strip.

In November 2012, the Israeli military approached a truce with Palestinian factions allowing Palestinians to approach up to 100 meters of the perimeter fence. In April 2013, an Israeli military spokesperson said that the no-go area has been extended to 300 meters from the fence.

Most of Gaza’s fruitful farmlands are located along the border fence with Israel, depriving the Strip of its major food basket. The border farmlands are also the only source of income for many Palestinian households.