Farmers in Gaza struggle to access lands near Israel | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Farmers in Gaza struggle to access lands near Israel

Ibrahim Atta looks out at a dusty field of grasses on a hot Gaza afternoon in early fall and declares this land was once a fertile “piece of heaven.” Twenty years ago, the 56-year-old Palestinian was a farmer, earning an income from selling produce grown on this nine-acre family plot.

Today Atta is no longer able to safely access the farm. The last time he tried to reach the land was in 2015. Israeli forces positioned on the other side of the fence “fired two tear gas bombs just under my feet,” Atta said. “I left and have not gone again. I just look at it from a distance and can’t get close, they may kill me.”

Atta is one of many farmers in the Gaza Strip whose land is not accessible because it is located near a fence that separates Gaza and Israel that was constructed around 20 years ago. While there is no agreed-upon buffer zone around the barrier, Israel’s military enforces a “no-go zone” up to 300 meters on both sides. In 2015, the Israeli military told Gisha, a group that advocates for Palestinian freedom of movement, that farmers are allowed to enter the buffer zone and get as close as 100 meters from the fence.