International Solidarity Movement
29 April 2010
Less than 24 hours after the fatal shooting of Ahmad Sliman Salem Dib, over 100 demonstrators gathered in Rafah, Gaza to protest the Buffer Zone. Marching within 100 meters of the border, the non-violent and unarmed demonstrators were faced with live fire from the beginning of the demonstration. As the march progressed, fire was aimed progressively closer and bullets were shot through a banner held by participants. One man was lightly injured in the foot.
Today’s Buffer Zone demonstration was the fourth since Friday. Live ammunition was used as a form of crowd dispersal in all four, killing Ahmad Dib yesterday. Dib, 19, was shot in the leg near Nahal Oz border crossing and died after emergency surgery from blood loss.
More than twenty rounds were fired at Monday’s demonstration in Al Faraheen, east of Khan Younis. On Friday, Palestinians Hind Al Akra (22) and Nidal Al Naji (18), and ISM activist Bianca Zammitt were shot with live ammunition in Maghazi.
Gaza Buffer Zone Background
Regular popular demonstrations are being are held in protest of the arbitrary decision by Israel to instate a 300 metre buffer zone as no-go area for Palestinians where “shoot to kill” policy is implemented. People have been shot regularly as far as 2 kilometres away from the border. Between January 20th 2009 (end of Israel’s war of aggression) and December 31st 2009, 166 Israeli attacks killed 37 persons and injured 69.
The buffer zone effects over 30% of Gaza’s farmland, and also restricts Palestinian fishermen to 3 nautical miles offshore. These restrictions severely impact the Gazan economy, with more than 675,000 (45%) now below the official poverty line and 325,000 (21%) unable to meet basic food needs.