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May-23-2010 06:26printcomments

Gaza Farmers Rally in Protest of Israel's Buffer Zone

In recent years, many farmers have been killed, injured and abducted while working in their fields.
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(GAZA CITY) - The Popular Committee to Resist a Security Fence organized a peaceful demonstration to protest the so-called 'buffer zone' that extends along the entire northern and eastern Gaza border with Israel.

THe demonstrators, mostly farmers, carried Palestinian flags and marched toward the eastern border area, where they were headed off by the Israeli army.

Soldiers began to shoot into the air to disburse the demonstrators.

Mohammed al-Zae "The aim of this demonstration is to defend our farmers' right to plant their land. That restricted no man's zone is about 20% of the fertile agriculture land of Gaza."

This event is one of a series of similar activities that are held every week in Gaza.

The farmers, who only have a chance to reach their lands during such events, were joined by the pro-Palestinian peace activists.

In May 2009, the Israeli military distributed thousands of leaflets warning residents to stay back at least 300 meters from the border, or risk being fired at.

The Israel destroys farmers homes because it says it needs the buffer zone, to make it more difficult for resistance fighters to fire homemade rockets and mortars into its southern areas, or to set up explosives near the border wall.

In recent years, many farmers have been killed, injured and abducted while working in their fields.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian Human Rights Advicate, "There are non violent demonstrations occurring all throughout the buffer zone. This is an area the Israelis have imposed unilaterally on the Palestinians. Meaning, that the Israelis say 300 meters from this wall behind us, which is the green line border, into Palestinian land, is off limits to Palestinians, meaning Israelis will shoot at them"

She says they shoot well beyond the 300 meter line also.

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Yousef Al-Helou is a freelance journalist based in Gaza, you can reach him at this email address: We at greatly appreciate Yousef's contribution for our readers. The siege of Gaza is one of the most upsetting and seemingly avoidable military events since the dawn of the new Millennium. Having someone in the field there able to send fresh reports to us offers our viewers the freshest perspective from the scene that they are likely to find in western media.

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