A Palestinian farmer has been shot and killed in Khan Younis by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Gaza’s border. Mohammed Abu Jame’ was 59 years old and working on his farm at the time of the incident. The shooting raises a serious right to life question only one week after a Palestinian fisherman was shot in the head and killed by Israeli forces while fishing in Palestinian territorial waters. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns these killings, which speak to a continued practice by Israeli authorities to use excessive force against Palestinians, with impunity, in violation of international human rights law.
Al Mezan’s documentation shows that at 12:30pm on Saturday, 3 March 2018, Israeli forces located near Gaza’s eastern border opened fire onto farmlands located east of Al Najjar neighborhood in the town of Khuza’a, eastern Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. Abu Jame’ was struck on the right side of his body. He was working on his farm at the time, about 200 meters from the border fence. A group of local residents moved Abu Jame’ from the place he was shot to the town’s main street, about 600 meters away. An ambulance took him to the Gaza European Hospital where doctors said the bullet had pierced his intestine and caused internal bleeding. At 5:30pm the same day, Abu Jame’ was declared dead. The cause of death was determined as the bullet wound.
An 85-year-old farmer, Aisha Abu Jame’, witnessed the incident and provided the following testimony:
From the early morning hours of Saturday, 3 March 2018, I was working on my farm, while my cousin, Mohammed Abu Jame’, whose farmland is located next to mine, was working on his. The atmosphere was calm. We were about 200 meters from the border fence. At around 12:30pm, I heard the sound of shooting. Mohammed was 20 meters away from me when I saw him fall to the ground. “I’ve been injured”, I heard him shout. I went to him and he asked that I call an ambulance. I immediately looked for nearby residents and asked for their help in transferring my cousin to the hospital. They called an ambulance and carried Mohammed to the main street, where the ambulance took him to the hospital.
Abu Jame’ is one of many people killed or injured in and near the access restricted areas in apparent excessive use of force by the Israeli military. The practices by the Israeli forces on the border also entail arbitrary arrest of residents and destruction of their farmland through bulldozing and chemical spraying. These practices have created an atmosphere of fear and insecurity and resulted in farmers being afraid to work their lands. As is also the case in Palestinian territorial waters, farmers are unable to access and enjoy Palestinian natural resources. The farming industry is stifled by the policies that led to Abu Jame’s killing.
Al Mezan is deeply concerned by the killing of Abu Jame’ and urges states to condemn the killing and the policies that allow for such practices to be implemented. The international community must put pressure on Israel to stop attacking Palestinian civilians. The killing of Abu Jame’ and other similar attacks must be independently investigated, bearing in mind the Israeli judiciary’s unwillingness to hold Israeli authorities’ to account for apparent serious violations of international law.