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VIDEO: Protesters in Gaza’s “buffer zone” under fire from Israeli forces

17th January 2014 | Institute for Middle East Understanding | Gaza, Occupied Palestine

They are young, and they are fearless. In Gaza, a growing nonviolent movement, led predominantly by youth, is challenging Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands in the so-called “buffer zone” — a unilaterally demarcated and militarily patrolled area that, according to Harvard researcher Sara Roy, now absorb[s] nearly 14 percent of Gaza’s total land and at least 48 percent of total arable land.” The zone officially extends 300 meters into Gaza’s territory, but attacks against civilians take place anywhere up to approximately 1.5 kilometers inside the border fence,” according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. (That’s about a mile into a strip of land that is seven miles at its girth.) In this video, some 300 protesters are shown under fire from Israeli guns, too far to see but no less lethal for it. The protestors’ crime? They were planting citrus trees to replace those destroyed by Israel’s ongoing occupation, which daily deprives Gaza’s more than 1.7 million Palestinians of access to their farmland, to the sea that borders them, to the airspace above them — and, crucially, to their fellow Palestinians. With more than 10 percent of the worldwide Palestinian population living in Gaza, no serious discussion of the conflict or its resolution can exclude them.

VIDEO: Jehad Saftawi/IMEU