Israeli Army and Navy Open Machine Gunfire on Palestinians in Gaza

GAZA, May 25, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli army and naval forces Wednesday opened their heavy machine guns on Palestinians farmers and shepherds along the eastern part of Gaza borders, as well as on fishermen sailing offshore the north-western part of Gaza city, according to witnesses.

Israeli forces stationed at Sufa, a border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip,  opened fire on farmers and shepherds present near the northeastern part of Rafah city, in the northern Gaza Strip.

To the north of Sufa, Israeli forces manning military watchtowers to the east of al-Sanati area to the north-east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, targeted farmers and with gunfire.

Additionally, forces stationed near al-‘Abara area to the east of the town of Qarara, in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire on farmers and shepherds in the area.

Meanwhile, forces manning watchtowers along the borderline to the east of Deir al-Balah city,  in central Gaza, opened fire on shepherds in the area.

Furthermore, forces stationed along the borderline to the east of al-Maghazi, in central Gaza, also opened fire on shepherds in the area.

No injuries were reported in the above-mentioned attacks.

In the meantime, Israeli naval forces attacked Palestinian fishermen’s boats sailing offshore al-Sudaniya to the northwest of Gaza city, causing financial damages to at least one boat.

The fishermen were forced to return back to shore for fear of being detained, injured, or killed.

Israeli army and navy routinely open fire at Palestinian fishermen and farmlands along the Gaza border, in a blatant violation of a ceasefire deal reached between Israel and the Palestinian factions in Gaza on August 26th 2014 following 51 days of bloody aggression on the Strip in the summer of 2014.

The ceasefire deal stipulated that Israel would immediately ease the blockade imposed on the strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.

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

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), the illegal closure, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.