GAZA, January 21, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Thursday morning opened fire at Palestinian farmers to the east of Gaza city, reported WAFA correspondent.
Israeli Soldiers stationed at watchtowers in Nahal Oz military base, east of Gaza city, opened heavy gunfire at a number of Palestinian farmers as they approached their farmlands, forcing them to retreat.
This came several hours after a Palestinian man was shot and injured by Israeli forces in the foot to the southeast of Gaza city.
The man, who remains unidentified, was rushed into al-Shifa Hospital, where medics described his injury as moderate.
Israeli army opens fire routinely at Palestinian fishermen and farmlands along the Gaza border, clearly violating a ceasefire deal reached between Israeli and the Palestinian factions in Gaza.
Israel has imposed a tightened blockade since 2007 after Hamas won the democratic legislative elections and took over power in the strip.
The Gaza tightened blockade has been widely criticized by United Nations’ organizations and Israeli Palestinian human rights organizations.
In its weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian Territories, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said 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.
“The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported.
For nine consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world,” said PCHR.
“This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 1.8 million people,” it added.
According to PCHR, the Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports.
“The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 38.8%, 21.1% of which suffer from extreme poverty. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 44%, which reflects the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip,” it added.