Israel have admitted that their military have used crop-dusters to destroy hundreds of acres of Palestinian crops for “security operations” reasons.
Palestinian officials say that poisons were sprayed in land inside the Gaza strip which has ended up killing most of the vegetation.
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“For years now, the IDF has unilaterally maintained a lethal ‘no-go zone’ on the Palestinian side of the border with Gaza. Now, it seems, it has also implemented a ‘no-grow zone,’” Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man wrote for +972.
Israeli planes were seen spraying the toxins for several days straight, destroying spinach, pea, parsley and bean crops.
“The aerial spraying of herbicides and germination inhibitors was conducted in the area along the border fence last week in order to enable optimal and continuous security operations,” an IDF Spokesperson told +972 on Sunday.
Along the Gaza border, there is a “no go” zone, where at least 16 Palestinians have been killed and another 379 wounded for entering. Palestinian people often claim that those shot were not actually within the zone, and the Israeli military rarely claim any of their victims were actually armed.
The distance the ‘no go’ zone reaches varies by area, and is often unclear. For example, farmers are allowed to go closer to the fence, but it is unclear how they distinguish between farmers, civilians, and “combatants.”
“Spraying crop-killing pesticides, like opening fire at people of all ages and gender in the vicinity of the fence, puts civilian lives at risk and hurts livelihoods,” Shai Grunberg, spokesperson for Gisha, an Israeli rights group that works to promote freedom of movement for Palestinians in Gaza, told 972+. “By virtue of Israel’s substantial control of the Gaza Strip, international law requires it to facilitate normal life in the Strip.”