GAZA, March 17, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli army Tuesday opened fire towards Palestinian farmers and farmlands east of Gaza City, according to WAFA correspondent.
Reports indicated that Israeli soldiers, stationed in watchtowers on the border with Gaza, opened a hail of gunfire towards farmers and borderline farmlands and homes, causing partial damage and forcing the farmers to leave. There were no reports of casualties.
Hours earlier, the army had arrested two Palestinians, while they were present near the Israeli border east of al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip.
Israeli army and navy open fire on farmers and fishermen almost on a daily basis. A few days ago, a fisherman was killed and another was injured after Israeli naval boats targeted them with gunfire, despite sailing within the six-nautical-mile zone offshore the Gaza Strip.
Israel has unilaterally imposed a no-go zone into the border with Gaza, stretching between 300 and 900 meters in some areas. According to humanitarian groups, this sharply affects 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.