Israeli forces shoot at Palestinian farmers in besieged Gaza

Israeli forces shoot at Palestinian farmers in besieged Gaza Strip
2 min read
13 June, 2021
Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian farmers in Gaza, force them to flee their land.
Gaza is under siege [Getty]

Israeli forces on Sunday shot at Palestinian farmers east of the city of Khan Younis, south of the besieged Gaza Strip

Israeli forces stationed at the border fence east of the city opened fire at the farmers who were tending to their land, forcing them to leave the area, according to Palestinian Authority's news agency Wafa.

No injuries were reported.

Israeli occupation forces intentionally target farmers working in lands located at the borders north and east of Gaza, and often prevent them from accessing their crops, despite everlasting food insecurity in the impoverished strip as a result of a 15-year long Israeli siege.

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Despite not having defined, official borders, Israel does not allow Palestinians to be within 300 meters from the border fence, which it unilaterally claims as a buffer zone, and often opens fire at the farmers who approach those areas. 

In 2006, Israel imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on the strip, effectively turning the coastal enclave into an open-air prison, where basic necessities such as food, fuel and medicines are severely restricted.

Israel insists its blockade is necessary to isolate Hamas, which it has fought three wars since 2008, bringing devastation to the Gaza Strip.

Critics say the blockade, along with a periodic bombardment of Gaza amounts to collective punishment of the coastal enclave's 2 million residents.

In 2014, the UN - along with four other human rights organisations - said that the Gaza Strip could end up becoming "uninhabitable" because of Israeli policies. The decade-long siege has plunged hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into poverty. 

Nearly 70% of Gaza's population is food insecure and around 80% of Palestinians in the besieged enclave are reliant on international aid, according to the United Nations.

Out of Gaza's 2 million population, 1.4 million are refugees whose ancestors were forced out of their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.