International Solidarity Movement
Three ISM volunteers and five farmers from Abu Tayima, Gaza were fired at by the Israeli army as they attempted to sow wheat on their land near the Israeli border.
A long awaited rainfall in Gaza several days ago created good conditions for wheat sowing on this dangerous plot of land where in the past farmers were shot at by the Israeli soldiers as they patrol the border.
One hour after arriving when sowing and ploughing were in full swing, two Israeli army jeeps drove alongside the border fence and stopped. A number of soldiers were seen moving between the two jeeps and soon opened fire on the unarmed farmers and volunteers. The farmers withdrew to the safer area while ISM volunteers remained in the field and used loudspeakers to inform the Israeli soldiers that they were firing at unarmed civilians working on their land who posed no threat.
After 10 minutes the two jeeps drove away and another jeep arrived with warning sirens on. The soldiers shouted in Arabic for everyone to leave. The ISM volunteers repeated the explanation that unarmed Palestinian farmers were working on their land and that they would leave for their homes when the work was finished.
Shortly after the jeep left and farmers were able to return and complete their work.
One of the farmers told volunteers that they choose to grow wheat to minimise the risk for themselves and their families of being shot. He said that wheat did not require much looking after and that they hoped to make the same perilous journey to the same field in May to harvest their crops.
Call-out:Tomorrow on Friday 22 January ‘10, three ISM volunteers will accompany farmers form the village of Faraheen to their land near the border with Israel where they have been frequently attacked by the Israeli soldiers in the past.