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  November 27, 2012

Shaky Truce Between Israel and Hamas Opens Lands to Farmers


Last week, Palestinian farmers along the buffer zone in the besieged Gaza strip could not access their farmlands. Now with an Egyptian brokered ceasefire in place, farmers are able to reach the lands for the first time in 10 years
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transcript

Last week, Palestinian farmers along the buffer zone in the besieged Gaza strip could not access their farmlands. Now with an Egyptian brokered ceasefire in place, farmers are able to reach the lands for the first time in 10 years. During that period, many farmers were killed by Israeli soldiers as they tried to cultivate their lands. The buffer zone region constitutes about 25% of Gaza's arable lands

This is area known as the buffer zone, in the past 6 years no one was allowed to reach this spot, anyone including farmers would be fired up on if they approached the border areas ….. and we too came under fire as we filmed near the border fence……. ..

24 hours after the ceasefire was implemented, Israeli soldiers shot across the border, killing one Palestinian man and injuring dozens of others.

The three main conditions of the ceasefire include the immediate halt of hostilities between both sides, including Israel's military incursions and assassinations against Hamas officials. The truce calls for the lifting of the prolonged siege on Gaza, easing restrictions imposed on farmers and fishermen and open the border crossings

Meanwhile, Gaza fishermen are allowed to fish up to 6 nautical miles from the sea shores, compared to fishing just 3 nautical miles into Gaza's waters before the truce. The Israeli restrictions had hampered the amount and variety of fish they could catch.

However, despite the limited access to what they did not have, farmers and fishermen say it's not enough. Israel claims the buffer and restriction at sea are necessary for security reasons and to prevent weapons smuggling into the Gaza strip

Israel's air, land and sea blockade on Gaza has been devastating for daily life and the struggling economy. Gaza's waters have been controlled by Israel since its occupation of the coastal strip in 1967. Several Israeli warships have been stationed off the coast of the Gaza strip since 2008.

The truce may have eased some restrictions, but Israel still maintains full control of Gaza's air space, territorial waters and border crossings, except along the Egyptian border, Palestinians here in Gaza insist the temporary truce will not lead to lasting peace no their liberation from Israeli occupation.



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