Israeli Buffer Zone State Terror
Israel shoots nonviolent Gazan civilians on their own land, including children.
by Stephen Lendman
State terror is official Israeli policy. It's imposed numerous ways to enforce harshness too extreme to bear. The strategy hopes many Palestinians will give up and leave.
Israel repeatedly gets it wrong. After decades of extreme oppression, Palestinians are committed to resist until free, though doing it extracts a huge toll.
Under protracted siege, Gazans suffer most of all, including by Israel's imposed Buffer Zone. It's a no-go "access-restricted" free-fire area, extending from Israel's border fence well into Gaza's most arable land.
Palestinians entering it risk being shot, killed, or injured, including children. Moreover, IDF armored columns enter often to raze land and bulldoze homes and other structures.
In May 2009, Israel dropped leaflets warning Gazans to keep out of areas within 300 meters of the border fence or risk being shot. In fact, Israeli snipers shoot them up to two kilometers inside. Moreover, Palestinian crops and structures have been destroyed well beyond the 300 meter limit.
As part of the 1994 Gaza-Jericho Agreement and 1995 Oslo II, consensus was reached on a delimiting Gaza line. Specific language said "(t)here will be a security perimeter along the Delimiting Line inside the Gaza Strip."
The deal called for Palestinian police to patrol it. Structures within 100 meters of the border would remain. New construction was allowed within agreed on limitations.
After the 2000 second Intifada began, Israel enforced a 150 meter no-go zone. It marked the onset of Buffer Zone state terror. Homes and other structures were demolished. Fundamental international humanitarian and human rights laws were violated.
After Israel's summer 2005 disengagement, Gazans were again warned against encroaching within 150 meters of Israel's border. Even then, 500 meters were enforced. More demolitions occurred.
In December 2005, Israel declared areas in northern Gaza off-limits, including evacuated settlements. Thousands of Palestinians were affected. The Buffer Zone in this area extended 1.5 kilometers from Israel's border.
During Cast Lead, clearing the entire Buffer Zone was finalized. Palestinians were again warned to keep out. Though officially 300 meters, anyone up to two kilometers can be shot on sight. Permanent displacement affected at least 10,000 Gazans.
In addition, demolitions and agricultural land razing happen regularly. Israeli soldiers monitor the area 24 hours a day. Up to 70% of households living near the Buffer Zone have been displaced at least once since 2000. Most lost homes. Others fled for safety. Half or more of them lost livelihoods.