In one of the biggest incidents since the Gaza ceasefire took effect in late November, Israeli soldiers have attacked and wounded five civilians in the northeastern corner of the strip. Officials say none of the injuries are life-threatening.
Witnesses at the site reported that the five were farmers working on a plot of land near the border when the troops opened fire out of nowhere. The Israeli military, by contrast, claimed the five were “protesters” and the shots were meant to “disperse” them.
Israel has long imposed a 300 meter “no go” area along the border, killing any Palestinians who get closer than that to the border fences. Since the ceasefire that region is reportedly reduced to only 100 meters, and soldiers are supposed to arrest, not shoot, anyone closer.
Indeed the new Israeli open-fire rules on the Gaza border only allow soldiers to shoot in the event the Gazans are damaging the fence and look like they may breech it. There is no indication from either side that anything close to this was the case.