Farming in the Gaza Strip’s “buffer zone” is hazardous under the best circumstances. Israeli troops routinely shoot live ammunition at Palestinian farmers in the free-fire area, which stretches hundreds of meters into the besieged territory from the barrier separating it and Israel, and invade their fields with tanks and bulldozers.
But Israel’s aggression against civilians in the area has escalated since the Egyptian army deposed elected president Muhammad Morsi and installed a new government on 3 July, according to Gaza’s farmers.
“After the coup in Egypt, the Israelis began shooting more heavily,” said Abu Jamal Abu Taima, a farmer in Khuzaa, a village in the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza.
Abu Jamal is the mukhtar, or elected leader, of the Abu Taima family, 3,500 refugees from Bir al-Saba — a town in present-day Israel called Beersheva — now scattered among the farmlands outside Khan Younis.
He and two dozen other farmers from the family spoke to The Electronic Intifada during and after a meeting they held in Khuzaa.
“Egypt was the guarantor of the last ceasefire agreement [in 2012],” he said. “Now the Israelis are free to do whatever they want.”
“Just a few months ago, there was no gunfire. Now there is. We aren’t even in season yet, but they have already started to shoot.” more
The Census Department of the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees issued a report on Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, revealing that Israeli soldiers kidnapped 2436 Palestinians since the beginning of this year, and that the number of detainees currently held by Israel is 5200.
Former Political Prisoner, head of the Census department, researcher Abdul-Nasser Farawna, stated that the detained Palestinians are held in 17 Israeli prisons, detention and interrogation centers, and that 146 of them are held under arbitrary Administrative Detention without charges or trial.
Farawna said that Israel is holding captive 220 children, including 42 below the age of 16. He added that 13 democratically elected legislators, and 13 women, are still imprisoned by Israel. The longest serving female detainee in Lina Jrabouni; she was taken prisoner in April of 2002 and was sentenced to 17 years.
The official also stated that there are 520 detainees who have been sentenced to at least one life term, and that detainee Abdullah Barghouthi was sentenced to 67 life terms and additional 250 years.