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Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Coward IOF using farmers as human shields

METHODS used by the Israel Defence Forces in their assault on the Gaza Strip have raised questions about whether Israeli military commanders authorised the use of Palestinians as human shields - a charge Israel has repeatedly made against Hamas.

Palestinian farmers from the neighbourhood of al-Atatra, about 10 kilometres north of the centre of Gaza City, said Israeli ground troops arrived in the area on January 7.

Samir Abu Dayer, 59, a farmer, said soldiers occupied several hectares of farmland behind his house. The fields that before the war produced olives, oranges and lemons are now a large stretch of pale yellow sand and broken irrigation pipes.

A sandpit roughly the size of an Olympic pool, with four walls about two metres high pushed together by bulldozers, dominates one field.

According to Mr Dayer, and several other residents whose houses bordered the field, Israeli troops quickly evacuated the surrounding houses. "They entered my house with a tank," Mr Dayer said. "I was told to come outside with my family."

Told to strip to his underwear, Mr Dayer said his hands were tied behind his back with white plastic cables, then he was moved into the sandpit area. More

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