The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) has increased its attacks on Palestinians near the Gaza Strip's eastern and northern borders with Israel; an area inside Gaza that IOF has declared as a security 'buffer zone'.
IOF opened fire at Palestinians; particularly farmers and children, and killed and injured many of them.
According to the field investigations conducted by Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, seven Palestinians have been killed, four of whom were children, in this area during the first ten months of 2009 alone.
Another 19 Palestinians were injured, six of whom were children.
IOF have also arrested 21 Palestinians, 12 of whom were children during the same period.
Al Mezan Centre condemns IOF's attacks on Palestinian civilians and calls international community to ensure protection for them from the attacks against their live and wellbeing.
Al Mezan's investigations indicate IOF opens fire at any Palestinians near the eastern and northern borders.
IOF's attacks do not follow a specific pattern.
IOF claims that its soldiers fire at Palestinians only when they are 300 meters from border fence.
However, while some attacks have occurred close to the border fence, many other attacks occurred when civilians were more than a kilometer from the borderline.
The entire Gaza Strip's average width in this area, i.
between the Mediterranean and the border fence, is six kilometers.
On many occasions IOF attacks targeted Palestinians as they were working in their fields and children and youths as they were hunting birds.
Most of areas near the border fence are agricultural lands where farmers and shepherds normally work.
IOF open fire even when it is evident that these civilians pose no risk at them.
As a result, many farmers have abandoned their land and residents their homes in this area.
In a recent attack, at approximately 8:30am on Sunday 15 November 2009, IOF opened fire from Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing at Palestinian bird hunters as they were in Swelem neighborhood east to the Crossing.
The victims were approximately 450 meters from the northern border fence.
As a result, Amjad Asa’ad Mustafa Hasanain, 28, was injured from a live bullet in his back.
Medical sources at Beit Hanoun Hospital described his injuries as light.
Later, at approximately 10:20am on the same day, IOF opened fire from Erez Crossing at Palestinian farmers who were in their farms at An-Nazaz neighborhood east of Biet Hanoun town.
The farmers were approximately 700 meters from the border fence; well far from the announced 300-meter zone.
As a result, Mahmoud Mohammed Al-Zaa’neen, 30, was injured in the legs.
According to medical sources at Beit Hanoun Hospital, the injuries are moderate.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights strongly condemns the continued, systematic attacks by the IOF against the 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.
Al Mezan's monitoring indicates that IOF attacks linked to the 'buffer zone' occur within an area that extends well beyond one kilometer from Gaza's eastern and northern borders.
IOF's conducts in this area flagrantly disregard to the rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law.
They violate the rights to life, liberty and personal integrity.
They also violate a wide range of economic and social rights and cause displacement to civilians.
Al Mezan Centre calls on the international community to take prompt actions to ensure due protection of Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
The Centre asserts that IOF's continued acts necessitate urgent actions by international community to enforce the mechanisms of accountability against those who violate international law in oPt.