Yesterday, Saturday 24 April 2010, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened fire at a group of protestors in a peaceful demonstration against the “security buffer zone' in the east of Al Maghazi refugee camp in the Middle Gaza District.
As a result, four people were injured; including a young man, two women and an elderly man.
One of the injured was the international peace activist, Bianca Zimmit, from Malta.
The demonstration was organized in the context of rising popular protests against Israel's attempts to enforce a 'security buffer zone' inside the Gaza Strip.
It was also organized in expression of solidarity with Palestinian farmers whose fields are located near the border fence and; therefore, cannot reach their land.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights condemns this violation of human rights and calls on the international community to effectively intervene to provide due protection to the population of the Gaza Strip.
According to Al Mezan's field investigations, at approximately 12pm on Saturday 24 April 2010, a peaceful demonstration organized by the popular campaign against the security buffer zone in the Al Maghazi refugee camp marched towards the separation fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Hundreds of Palestinians and six international activists walked in the march and reached a point close to the fence.
The IOF opened fire at the demonstrators.
And, as a result, wounded four persons; including a young man, two women and an elderly man.
One of the four was an international solidarity activist.
Al Mezan identified their names as follows: · Nedal An-Naqla, 18, who was lightly injured by a bullet to the right thigh; · Ms.
Bianca Zimmit, 28, who is a member of the International Solidarity Movement, and was injured by a bullet to the left thigh.
Zimmit sustained light injures; · Mrs.
Hind Al-Qor'aan, 35, who was injured by a bullet to the abdomen and sustained moderate injuries and · Mr.
Suliman Al-Bhiri, 70, who suffered from a panic shock.
After the last Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead), IOF has started to enforce a security buffer zone along Gaza’s northern and eastern border.
The IOF systematically prevent Palestinians from reaching areas near the borders; and frequently open fire at them at sight.
Many farmers and children were killed and injured in this area.
While the IOF claim that they fire at Palestinians only when they are within 300 meters from border, many attacks on Palestinian civilians occurred when they were more than a kilometer from the borderline.
The IOF attacks are specific in nature and cannot be predicted based on the distance from the border.
They have affected Palestinian farmers in particular as the most fertile agricultural lands are located near the border.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights strongly condemns the IOF attacks at peaceful demonstrations in a clear violation of the right to free expression, the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to life and security of the person.
Al Mezan condemns the continued and systematic attacks by the IOF against Palestinian civilians; particularly farmers who work in their fields near the borders.
Al Mezan warns from the human rights implications for Palestinian civilians which emanate from Israel's attempts to enforce the security 'buffer zone' inside the Gaza Strip as these lands present a high percentage of agricultural lands in the Gaza Strip.