Israeli occupation forces shoot Palestinian worker in the back
Gaza City, 25 March – With Western media focussed on the stand-off between the US White House and the Israeli government over mutually acceptable diplomatic formulas, Israeli occupation forces continue to take on even impoverished Palestinian civilians trying to recoup rubble from the ruins of Gaza in order to repair or rebuild their homes. This morning Israeli armed forces fired anew against a group of men collecting rubble inside the Gaza Strip, near the Shufa crossing. One man, 32 years old Naji Abu Rayda was shot in the back. Israeli military spokespeople deny having any information about such aggressions against unarmed civilians. Nevertheless, at the beginning of this week Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that Israeli occupation forces near the Eretz crossing had opened fire on men collecting rubble for sale to brick factories. The men had been working at a distance of about 100 meters from the separation fence. The shooting incident followed the arrest of 20 Palestinians two days earlier. The men were assaulted and arrested while in the process of collecting rubble from destroyed buildings near the northern Gaza Strip separation fence. Israel does not allow any building materials to be brought inside the Gaza Strip for repair or reconstruction of what it had destroyed during its military assault in January 2009. Having ensured Egypt's collaboration in sealing off the Gaza Strip from the outside world, the recycling of rubble has become the only source for make-shift building.
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