Destroying Gaza’s farmlands

A farmer holds crops destroyed by Israeli troops.

Editors Note: In the light of Bartlett’s recent activities and reporting, we believe there is reason to be sceptical of her commitment to truth so we cannot vouch for any of her past claims. 

Eva Bartlett continues her excellent series of reports documenting Israeli crimes. Her latest report describes the deliberate destruction of Gaza’s farmlands by the IDF.

On the morning of 4 May 2009, Israeli troops set fire to Palestinian crops along Gaza’s eastern border with Israel. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that 200,000 square meters of crops were destroyed, including wheat and barley ready for harvest, as well as vegetables, olive and pomegranate trees.

Local farmers report that the blaze carried over a four-kilometer stretch on the Palestinian side of the eastern border land. Ibrahim Hassan Safadi, 49, from one of the farming families whose crops were destroyed by the blaze, said that the fires were smoldering until early evening, despite efforts by the fire brigades to extinguish them.

Safadi says he was present when Israeli soldiers fired small bombs into his field, which soon after caught ablaze. He explained that “The Israeli soldiers fired from their jeeps, causing a fire to break out on the land. They burned the wheat, burned the pomegranate trees … The fire spread across the valley. We called the fire brigades. They came to the area and put out the fire. But in some places the fire started again.” According to Safadi, he lost 30,000 square meters to the blaze, including 300 pomegranate trees, 150 olive trees, and wheat.

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Lost in the Buffer Zone

Editors Note: In the light of Bartlett’s recent activities and reporting, we believe there is reason to be sceptical of her commitment to truth so we cannot vouch for any of her past claims. 

Eva Bartlett’s latest report from Gaza, this time describing the struggles for survival of Palestinian farmers living in the ‘buffer zone’ border area with Israel.

“They’re always shooting at us. Every day they shoot at us,” says Alaa Samour (19), pulling aside his shirt to show a scar on his shoulder. Samour said he was shot on Dec. 28 last year by Israeli soldiers positioned along the border fence near New Abassan village, east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip.

“We were cutting parsley like we do almost every day, and the soldiers began shooting. We started crawling away. When I got out of the line of fire I realised my shoulder was bleeding and that I had been shot.”

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