Israeli Forces Open Gunfire on Gaza Borderline Farmlands, Houses

GAZA, February 24, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday morning opened gunfire on Palestinian borderline farmlands and houses to the east of Khan Younes, said WAFA correspondent.

Soldiers stationed in military watchtowers along the border to the east of the city indiscriminately opened fire and smoke bombs on nearby houses and farmers as they were attempting to reach their borderline farmlands, forcing them to return.

No casualties were reported in the cross-border attack that constitutes a flagrant violation of the ceasefire deal that ended the latest deadly Israeli onslaught on the war-torn coastal enclave.

Israeli Forces routinely open fire on Palestinian farmers and residents if they approach large tracts of borderline land that Israeli forces have deemed off-limits to Palestinians as well as on fishing boats sailing within the six-nautical-miles zone.

The buffer zone extends between 500 meters and 1500 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 Gaza refugees.

Israel and the Palestinian factions inked a ceasefire deal on August 26, ending the latest deadly Israeli onslaught on Gaza that claimed the lives of over 2,200 people, overwhelmingly civilians.

The ceasefire deal stipulated that Israel would immediately ease the blockade imposed on the strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, but it has failed to do so.

Continuing the Cairo-brokered talks on the other key issues was repeatedly postponed in the wake of November attacks against Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula.

Israel has imposed a tightened blockade since 2007 after Hamas won the democratic legislative elections and took over power in the strip.

 

WAFA