On the morning of the 1st of April, ISM Gaza Strip activists returned to accompany Palestinian farmers in the area of Khouza’a, east of Khan Younis. This is the same area where farmers working their fields were almost shot on the 24th of February. The fields are far away from the Israeli watchtowers and about 400 meters from the Green Line. Despite this, the farmers had problems when they tried to reach their fields on the two previous days because of the shooting from Israeli troops.
The work began at 7:40am and about 25 minutes later, two army jeeps moved along the fence and approached the group of farmers and activists. The soldiers got out and started watching. It was obvious that the group was posing no threat to the soldiers. Most of the Palestinian farmers were middle-aged women. Many of the international solidarity activists were wearing fluorescent or Red Crescent vests. But after a few minutes of watching, the Israeli soldiers started shooting.
One of the ISM activists tried to deescalate the situation by talking to the army by megaphone but they still continued shooting. The farmers resisted the attack by ignoring the fire and continuing their work. After awhile, the soldiers withdrew and quit their attempt to expel the Palestinian farmers from their land. Despite the intimidation of the Israeli soldiers, and despite the fact that they could hear the intense battles between Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian resistance fighters (two of them killed and another two injured) east of Al Meshazi camp further north, the farmers stayed and defended their rights to work their land. Today they won the battle, tomorrow is another day.