Israeli Troops Attack Gaza Farmers, Wound Eight

Military Suspected Elderly Farmers of Plotting to Lay Explosives

by Jason Ditz, May 17, 2012

Israeli troops attacked a group of Gaza farmers today along the heavily militarized border with the besieged strip, wounding eight, including two seriously. At least three of the wounded were said to be elderly farmers who own land along the border.

Israeli officials claimed that the farmers were “too close” to the border, and initially claimed that they were armed, though that portion of the claim did not appear in later statements. They said they assumed the farmers were laying explosives in a plot to “kidnap soldiers.”

The troops repeatedly shouted warnings at the farmers to stay off the land near the border, and then attacked them, initially with machine guns and then fired artillery at them as they fled “into a civilian population concentration,” apparently Beit Lahia.

Israeli military sources said they couldn’t confirm actually hitting any of the Palestinians with their attack, and termed them “demonstrators” after the claim of planting explosives was disproven.

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