Israeli Military Briefly Enters Gaza Border

KHAN YOUNES, August 4, 2015 (WAFA) – A number of Israeli armored tanks Tuesday infiltrated the border with Gaza from the eastern part of al-Qarara, to the northeast of Khan Younes, said WAFA correspondent.

Three Israeli tanks and three armored bulldozers, stationed at the Israeli ‘Kissufim’ military base, just close to the border fence east of Khan Younes, advanced over 150 meters into Palestinian agricultural lands, opening fire toward Palestinians’ agricultural facilities in the area.

During the provocative incursion, the Israeli military also fired smoke bombs in the area, preventing many Palestinian farmers from entering their borderline lands.

Since 2005, Israel unilaterally imposed a 300-meter-wide buffer zone into the border with Gaza, sharply affecting the livelihood of tens of thousands of Gaza farmers, who rely heavily on agriculture to provide for their families.

As of 2010, UN-OCHA estimated that 35 percent of Gaza’s agricultural land is located in restricted-access areas, affecting the lives and livelihoods of approximately 113,000 people.

Farmers in farmlands on the borders say their situation has only worsened since the last war ended in 2014, pointing to the Israeli military’s frequent incursions into their lands and its practice of firing live ammunition at farmers who enter the sizable ‘buffer zone’ between Gaza and Israel.

Israel and the Palestinian factions signed a ceasefire deal on August 26, ending the 2014 summer Israeli onslaught on Gaza, which claimed the lives of over 2,200 Gaza refugees, overwhelmingly civilians.