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FreeGaza Movement

Human rights group that sailed 5 times into port of Gaza.

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This is a compilation report of various times ISM Gaza Strip
volunteers have spent with farmers in Al-Faraheen Abasan Al-Kabeera,
near Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Palestine

There is a "Buffer Zone", declared by the Israeli occupation force
army, along the entire eastern "border" of the Gaza Strip. Entire
farms within 300 to 500 meters distance inside this "Buffer Zone" have
been destroyed by Israeli occupation force soldiers in the past few
years, since 2005. On 27th and 28th April and 1st May 2008 the Israeli
occupation force soldiers invaded Al-Faraheen Abasan Al-Kabeera and
bulldozed many farms and demolished some houses. During these
incursions all the trees, crops, irrigation pipes, and hot houses were
bulldozed into the ground. Rich agricultural farm land turned into
desert. Olive trees decades old, citrus trees, date trees and many
crops of tomatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, green peppers, okra,
carrots, lettuce, etc. providing livelihood and food for the families
of the Gaza Strip gone. In addition, chicken farms and herds of sheep
and other animals were killed by the soldiers too. The destruction of
these farms has made many families totally dependent on food aid and
has turned the farmers penniless. Most if not all of the farmers
cannot access their land and they can’t graze their herds, but must
feed them grains, which is not suitable food source for animals that
should be grazing. The farmers will be shot at if not shot and killed
if they attempt to just go to their land.

Some ISM volunteers have spent time with one family living in
Al-Faraheen Abasan Al-Kabeera. They usually arrive during the day to
establish an international presence and stay the night too. They are
there as witnesses to the human rights violations by the Israeli
occupation force soldiers. During these times other farmers have
approached the volunteers to inform them of their losses inflicted
upon them by the various invasions of the Israeli soldiers.

On Friday 24th October, at 9:00am, in the Al-Faraheen Abasan
Al-Kabeera area at Israeli occupation force soldiers shot at one woman
and two men who were working on their farm outside of the "Buffer
Zone", they were more than 300 meters from the border fence. Then at
10:00am a farmer was working his land in the "Buffer Zone". One jeep
drove to the fence marking the "border" that Israel established, a
soldier got out and fired two shots, then another five shots. The
farmer left the field and the work he was doing and went back to his
house. He waited twenty minutes and then came out of his house to
return to work his land. This time the soldier in the one jeep fired
many shots. The farmer stopped working his land for the day and went
back home. Later on, another jeep drove to the fence northeast of the
previous location, and fired lots of shots, maybe 50. Why would
soldiers shoot into an agricultural field while farmers work their
land? Why would soldiers shoot 50 shots into an agricultural field
while nobody is there?<p></p>