The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continues to attack Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, particularly farmers and other groups of civilians who are present within about a kilometer from the Gaza Strip's borders with Israel.
The IOF attacks are part the enforcement a ‘security buffer zone’ inside Gaza, in which IOF use excessive, lethal force against civilians; including locals and farmers.
In the afternoon of Monday 10 January 2011, the IOF killed farmer Sha'ban Qarmout while he was working in his field in Beit Hanoun town.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns these attacks and calls on the international community to provide protection for civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt); including Gaza.
According to Al Mezan’s investigations, at approximately 2:5pm on Monday 10 January 2011, the IOF opened fire at Palestinian farmers who were about 550 meters from the border fence between Gaza and Israel.
These civilians were in the Al-Shobaki area, north to the Agriculture School in the north of Beit Hanoun town in North Gaza district.
As a result, a farmer, Sha'ban Mohammed Shaker Qarmout, 64, was killed from a bullet to the chest beneath the neck.
He died at the Beit Hanoun Hospital about an hour after he was injured.
The shooting occurred when there was calm in the area and just after an international delegation finished a visit to it.
Qarmout was working in his land in that area when he was shot.
He lives in the same area, so he was well known there.
The IOF has been using force to enforce the ‘security buffer zone’ along Israel’s border inside Gaza, frequently attacking residents near the border; including residents, farmers, and civilians who collect scrap and rubble from the destroyed structures there.
These kind of willful attacks violate international law, which absolutely prohibits attacking civilians in such manner.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the continuous IOF violations of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War, of 1949.
These deliberate attacks on, and killing of, farmers and other civilians who live and own land in that area represent grave violations of international law.
They must stop and be punished.
Al Mezan calls on the international community to intervene to ensure that protection is duly and effectively provided for civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including the Gaza Strip.
It also calls on the international community to take prompt actions to stop the killing and harming of civilians and their livelihoods in the context of IOF’s enforcement of the ‘security buffer zone’.