Israeli Forces Open Fire at Gaza Farmers

GAZA, January 4, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Monday morning opened live fire at Palestinian farmers to the east of Gaza city, reported WAFA correspondent.

Israeli forces in borderline watchtowers in Nahal Oz opened heavy gunfire on farmers attempting to reach their fields near the border, forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported in the cross-border shooting attack.

Israeli troops routinely open fire at Palestinian farmers and other civilians if they approach borderline lands. Israel has unilaterally declared a buffer zone extending between 500 meters and 1,500 meters into the Strip, effectively turning local farms into no-go zones.

According to a United Nations’ OCHA, 17 percent of Gaza’s total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land lie within the buffer zone as of 2010, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gaza residents.

“Israeli forces’ use of live ammunition has placed up to 35 percent of Gaza’s agricultural land off-limits to farmers,” it said.

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.

Over 2,200 Palestinians, overwhelmingly civilians, were killed and 11,000 others were injured during the onslaught that resulted in the demolition of thousands of houses.