Farmers in Gaza: Risking life to survive

Video produced by the Intercept for the story: "Farmers at Gaza's Edge Try to Make Ends Meet Between Economic Squeeze and Israeli Sniper Fire" by Matthew Cassel

Since at least 2007 Israel has imposed a military no-go zone along the boundary between Israel and Gaza which extends up to one and a half kilometers into Gaza.  Anyone entering this no-go zone can be shot by the Israeli military.  

Shooting by the Israeli military into these areas is a regular occurrence.  When I visited Gaza last year I spent time in Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun at farms near the Gaza boundary.  Even during brief visits to these areas, you hear Israeli gunfire as soldiers shoot into Gaza.  

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, between January 1, 2018 and March 26, 2018 the Israeli military opened fire in the no-go zone 181 times, killing 2 people and injuring 13. During the same period the Israeli military entered these areas of Gaza nine times to destroy property and clear land.  

With over 35% of Gaza’s most fertile agricultural land located in these areas, it is understandable that Palestinians in Gaza risk entering the area to farm their land.  Most farmers have no other choice, as without access to their land farmers cannot work and families cannot survive.  

This story and video by Matthew Cassel of the Intercept provide additional firsthand information from farmers in Gaza about the struggles they face.  Please take time to read the article and watch the video.