Nature of incidents
Between 26 March 2010 and 18 January 2011, DCI-Palestine has documented 24 cases of children shot whilst collecting building material or working near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Due to a severe lack of job opportunities and a shortage of construction material entering Gaza from Israel, hundreds of men and boys scavenge for building gravel and other items amongst the destroyed buildings close to the border fence. The gravel is collected into sacks, loaded onto donkey drawn carts and sold to builders for use in concrete. Children can earn between 30 and 50 shekels (US $8-14) per day which is used to help support their families. Reports indicate that Israeli soldiers on duty in the observation towers which line the border between Gaza and Israel frequently fire warning shots to scare workers away from the border region. Reports also indicate that these soldiers sometimes shoot and kill the donkeys used by the workers, and also target the workers, usually, but not always, shooting at their legs. In the cases documented by DCI-Palestine, the children report being shot whilst working between 50 to 800 metres from the border fence. These cases have also been reported in Haaretz, The Guardian, The Independent, AFP and CNN media outlets.