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Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian farmland in Gaza

Jan. 8, 2017 12:09 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 8, 2017 6:54 P.M.)
(File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli troops opened live fire at Palestinian agricultural land in two separate incidents in the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, local sources told Ma'an, with no injuries reported.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers stationed at military posts across the border fence opened fire at Palestinian farmland in the eastern outskirts of Gaza City.

A similar shooting incident was reported by locals in the village of Khuzaa east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

No injuries were reported in both incidents. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were looking into the reports.

Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone," which lies on both the land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.

Palestinians who work near the unilaterally declared “buffer zone” between the Palestinian enclave and Israel often come under fire from military forces, as the Israeli military has not made clear the precise area of the designated zone. The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural sector of the blockaded coastal enclave.

On Wednesday night, a Palestinian fisherman went missing after an encounter with Israeli forces near Israel’s sea-side buffer zone , and has yet to be found by Palestinian or Israeli authorities. Locals told Ma’an at the time that Israeli forces had purposely attacked and sunk al-Hassi’s boat, and the fisherman's family has since declared him dead.

The incident has sparked anger in the besieged coastal enclave. A sit-in protest was organized on Thursday condemning the “Israeli crime” and demanding an international intervention to protect Gaza fishermen and prosecute Israel for its crimes.

Despite the ceasefire agreement that ended the deadly war, the Israeli army regularly open fires on Palestinian fishermen and farmers along the border areas.
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