GAZA, February 21, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli armed soldiers Sunday opened live fire on Palestinian farmers along the borderline to the southeast of Gaza city.
WAFA correspondent reported that soldiers stationed at watchtowers along the borderline opened live fire on farmers along the border area of Johr Addik, however, no injuries were reported.
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.
“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 the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (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 a fact sheet by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “In June 2007, following the takeover of Gaza by Hamas, Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip. The blockade has reduced Gaza’s GDP by 50% (The World Bank, May 2015).”
“Access to areas within several hundred metres from the Israeli fence surrounding Gaza is risky or prohibited, discouraging or preventing farming activities,” said OCHA.