A Palestinian farmer shot in the head by Israeli soldiers on Monday in the northern Gaza Strip has died in Kamal Adwan Hospital, medical sources have announced. Mostafa Abu-Jarad, 21, was working on his farm in Beit Laheya when the Israelis shot him. Witnesses said that the shooting started without any warning or reason. Another farmer was also wounded in the incident and admitted to hospital; he sustained light injuries.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said that Abu-Jarad died not only because of the serious nature of his wounds but also because of a shortage of medical equipment needed in such emergency situations. Dr Ashraf Al-Qedra attributed the shortage to the Israeli siege which has been imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2006, backed by Western governments.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum condemned the farmer's murder, saying that the Israelis want to make Gazans live "in a state of continuous suffering". He said that Hamas has contacted the Egyptian government, which mediated the truce between the Palestinian resistance groups and Israel, to update officials about the latest Israeli breaches of the ceasefire agreement, notably against farmers and fishermen.
When asked about any response by the resistance groups, Barhoum said: "Palestinian resistance groups deal with this sensitive issue with wisdom in order not to be dragged into a new unnecessary round of violence."
The ceasefire brokered by Egypt and backed by the US allowed for Palestinian fishermen to sail up to six miles offshore and cancelled Israel's so-called "buffer zone" between Palestinian farms and the border. However, the Israelis have breached the truce numerous times since it was agreed in November.
It is worth noting that Mostafa Abu-Jarad's brother Lo'ai, 25, was killed by Israeli forces last October.
Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank Palestinian youth Sameer Awad, 17, was killed on Tuesday morning by Israeli forces in the village of Badrass to the west of Ramallah.
Witnesses said that the Israelis shot Awad during a peaceful protest against illegal Israeli settlements. Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that Awad was among a group of school students who left their lessons to attend the protest.
Awad and his fellow students apparently approached the Israeli security fence where they were ambushed. They threw stones towards the Israeli soldiers who responded with live ammunition. Medical sources said that the young man was shot four times in his body.
A spokesman for the Israeli army claimed that its soldiers responded to an alarm that someone was breaking the security fence. They shouted at the Palestinian youngsters who, it is alleged, ignored the soldiers; so they shot at them, killing Awad.