ISRAELI FORCES OPEN FIRE AT PALESTINIANS ACROSS GAZA BORDER
Gaza, 23 Jumadil Awwal 1436/14 March 2015 (MINA) – Israeli forces on Thursday evening opened fire at Palestinians on land east of the city of Khuzaa in the southern Gaza Strip.
Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers deployed at the border opened fire at individuals who were on private Palestinian land in the area, which is east of Khan Younis.
They said that no injuries were reported as a result of the attack, Ma’an News Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
An Israeli military spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.
Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire toward Palestinian civilians near the border in the five months since the signing of a ceasefire agreement that ended a more than 50-day assault by Israel on Gaza that left around 2,200 dead and 11,000 injured.
The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire that restrictions on Palestinian access to the border region would be lessened.
The “security buffer zone” before the Israeli assault extended between 500 meters and 1,500 meters into the Strip, effectively turning local farms into no-go zones.
According to UNOCHA, 17 percent of Gaza’s total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land were within the buffer zone as of 2010, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gazans.
During the war, the buffer zone covered nearly half of the entire Gaza Strip, but immediately following the cessation of hostilities was reduced to former levels, with promises that it would be pulled back further.
The border restrictions are part of Israel’s broader siege on the Gaza Strip in place for the last eight years, which largely prohibits both imports and exports and has led to a severe collapse in the tiny coastal enclave’s economy.
The blockade has led to frequent humanitarian crises for Gazans, and the United Nations and various human rights groups have repeatedly called on Israel to lift it. (T/P010/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)