KHAN YOUNES, February 28, 2016 (WAFA) – A Palestinian farmer was on Sunday injured when Israeli soldiers patrolling along the border with Gaza opened gunfire at him, after he attempted to reach his farm, according to local sources.
WAFA correspondent said soldiers stationed at borderline watchtowers targeted a group of farmers with gunfire when they attempted to reach their farmlands, located close to the Israeli-erected fence on Gaza-Israel border to the east of Khan Younes, in southern Gaza Strip.
One of the farmers, who was not identified yet, was moderately injured in his foot, and was transferred to hospital for medical treatment.
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 1500 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-s to farmers,’ it said.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Israeli military has issued directives prohibiting any Palestinian presence on land within Gaza abutting the territory’s perimeter fence, currently up to 300 meters from the fence, but Israeli forces have frequently shot at Palestinians beyond that distance.