Major test for ceasefire after Israeli troops shoot farmer dead and wound twenty others

Farmer killed amid confusion over ceasefire


Anwar Abdelhadi Quiedh became the first ‘martyr’ of peacetime Gaza today, shot dead by Israeli troops who also wounded 20 others, leading to protests by Palestinians and posing a significant test of the ceasefire signed just 36 hours previously.

Mr Quiedh was in a group of 300 men, most of them farmers, who had moved into fields near the border after hearing on radio and television that the peace deal allowed them to reclaim land which had been declared a buffer zone by the Israelis.

It is indeed the case that the accord signed in Cairo to end the latest conflict provides for Palestinian farmers to cultivate the stretches along the frontier and fishermen to take their catches in waters from where they have been hitherto banned.

But exactly when these measure are to be implemented remains unclear - as 21 year old Mr Quiedh and the other casualties found out to their cost.

The shooting led to a second incursion by youths towards the border fence, some of them shouting “Allah-hu-Akhbar” and the name of the Egyptian president “Morsi, Morsi” as they ran forward. They dispersed after Israeli troops fired in the air.

Tonight demonstrations were being held in the villages in the area with calls for Hamas and militia groups to retaliate against what the residents were adamant was a clear breach of the ceasefire agreement.

Tonight Hamas policemen were turning away people the contentious field and the of an Islamist Brigade battalion at the nearby town of Khan Yunis said he has received no orders to resume hostilities.

But Commander Abu Mousa of the Balad brigade added “This is the second time the Israelis had breached the ceasefire and this there has been a death and people wounded. We are here to protect the people and if this continues surely we must act.”

Rasmia Quiedh, the bereaved mother of the young dead farmer, had no doubt about what should be done. Sitting in mourning surrounded by female relations and neighbours, she told The Independent “There must be revenge for my son. Hamas have been saying how strong they are. Well, let them show it. The agreement said we could go back to use our land and the Israelis are shooting people for doing that.

“Most of our best land is now lost in Israel. My husband grew olives on the land on this side [of the border]. It is now lying empty but we can’t do anything with it; we have to live on aid from foreigners. I am very sad for my son but I am also proud of him, he was standing up for our rights.”

What added to the sense of shock among the farmers was that the shooting took place on the second day they had ventured on to the fields. A six hour foray on Thursday, during which they cleared some of the area resulted in the Israelis firing in the air, but nothing more.

Mahmoud Abu-Taieb was too apprehensive to make the first journey; but he went along today at the urging of others. By the afternoon he was lying on a  bed at the Nasar Hospital in Khan Yunis with bullet wounds to his hip and abdomen.

“My uncle and his friends asked me to go along with them. They said nothing happened to those who went on the first trip and, anyway, it has been announced on TV that we were allowed to go. I could not refuse, we have so little money, this was a chance to start doing something with our farm again.”

Mr Abu-Taieb said the shooting started within half-an-hour of him getting to the fields. “I was sitting down talking. I swear we were 300 meters from the border. Some Israeli soldiers got out of jeeps and I could hear someone shouting something through a loudspeaker in Hebrew. Then they started firing, first on the ground, then straight at us.

“I felt pain in my stomach, I looked down and there was a lot of blood everywhere. People were frightened and they had run away. I started crawling back, but they were still shooting, I could hear the bullets over me. When I reached the others, I just collapsed.”

The size of the buffer zone had varied in the various twists of the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. Mohammed Emawi last set foot on the family farmland 12 years ago with his father; he went back today with his 30 year old brother and was another one to be injured, shot in the stomach. “It said on TV that we can go back and that’s why we went” he said. “I was about 150 meters from the fence, they opened fire and I was hit; I woke up later in the ambulance.”

The Israeli army stated last night that around 300 Palestinians had approached the security fence at several points in southern Gaza, trying to damage it and cross into Israel. Soldiers had fired warning shots in the air, but after the crowd refused to move back, fired at their legs.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map