First be selfish

Fri, 27 February 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Razor's Edge
Chapter #:
am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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Question 1:




Deva Gita, there is no question of anything to be given to me; on the contrary, you have to be receptive to what I am giving to you. It is true you are poor, but I am not poor. Let my riches be your riches, and let my mornings be your mornings, and let my nights, full of stars, be your nights too.

The very idea that you have to give something to me is absurd. All that you can do is to be receptive and available. When I knock on your doors, I should not find them closed - it is more than enough on your part. And when I take you into unknown territories you should come with me without any fear, without anything holding back.

You have all the money in the world but you are poor. I don't have any money in the world but I am rich - rich in my being. That's the only richness I recognize, because anything other than the inner richness is going to be taken away by death. It is not yours; it belongs to the world. The only thing that belongs to you is your own consciousness, and that consciousness is asleep. Just allow me to wake it up.

As far as your heart is concerned, you are right - I have taken it away long before. And when I take people's hearts, I don't take their permission. Hearts have also to be stolen. No permission is asked, because if you give your heart with permission, you can take it away any moment. The heart is always stolen. You become aware only later on when it is no longer there. And because you have not given it, you cannot take it back. You cannot even report to the Bund Garden Police Station that your heart has been stolen!

The moment you came to me, I took your heart - from the very beginning. Your mind I cannot take, because your mind is false; it is just like your shadow. I cannot take your shadow. I can take you, but not your shadow.

Your heart has been stolen long ago, but the mind never becomes aware whether the heart is inside or has gone out - because the mind has no connections with the heart. And the heart has to be taken away. That's what I call initiation. Now you have got only two things: a mind full of rubbish - even if you want to give it to me I will not take it - and a being which is asleep.

So two things have to be remembered, Gita. One, you drop your mind and allow me to wake your consciousness and you have not to give anything to me. I am so full, so abundantly full, that I can share my blessings with the whole universe, and still my fullness will remain the same. So instead of thinking of giving something to me, start thinking of receiving what I am giving to you - every moment, every day.

You are thirsty and I am full of cold water, fresh water, to quench your thirst. Take it. And this is a miracle: the more you take the water out of the well... fresh water is always coming into the well from hidden sources. A well from which water is not taken out is not granted fresh sources, and the old water becomes stale, and even poisonous.

Once you start feeling the fullness of your spiritual being, then go on giving to the deserving, to the undeserving - never discriminate! Whoever is ready to take, give it to him. And existence will always be giving you a thousandfold more to be shared.

Where disciples have to give to the master, there is no disciple and no master. Where the master has to give to the disciples, there exists a real mystery school. This is the gathering of those who are thirsty, who are searching and seeking. Giving something to me may fulfill your ego, but that is not the purpose here. Receiving something from me will make you humble, will make you more human.

So become a womb and receive your own awakening, your own new life, your own new birth, through my hand.

Socrates is reported to have said that the function of the master is that of a midwife.

He is absolutely right.

Question 2:



Deva Abhiyana, yes, this is the surgery I speak of. But it seems you are on the surgical table a little unwillingly; otherwise, why you should feel melancholy? When you feel empty you should rejoice, because this emptiness is the only possibility of your spiritual growth. Only out of this spaciousness your potential can become actual. This is the process of actualization.

You are saying, "When you dance with us and we dance with you, with a shake of your head, the pillars of Chuang Tzu dissolve, the roof falls away, and we take off! Day after miraculous day I feel more empty and more melancholy, as if, one by one, my very organs are disappearing."

You are just imagining that the pillars of Chuang Tzu disappear, that the roof falls off and you take off. If it was a reality, then when your organs start disappearing you should dance more madly; when you start disappearing you should be full of blissfulness. The pillars of Chuang Tzu and the roof can't help you even if they disappear.

Unless you disappear... but you are clinging to yourself, and you are afraid that your organs, one by one, are disappearing. Why be so calculative? This is not a place for calculation. Why be so retail?... organ by organ.

It happened in Ramakrishna's life: a very rich man from Calcutta came. He was a great devotee of Ramakrishna - at least he thought so. He had brought one thousand gold coins to present to him.

Ramakrishna said, "I will not reject you because I don't want to hurt your feelings, so I accept your one thousand gold coins. Now they are mine; will you do me a favor?"

The man said, "I am ready."

Ramakrishna said, "Take all these coins and throw them in the Ganges."

The Ganges was flowing just behind the temple where Ramakrishna used to live. The man was very much shocked. His gold coins... and he had collected them with so much effort. He hesitated.

Ramakrishna said, "Your hesitation says that you have not given them to me. These are my coins now; it is none of your business. You just throw them in the Ganges. You have given them to me, what does it matter? They don't belong to you whether I keep them or I give them to the Ganges."

The logic was clear. The man went very slowly, and it took hours. Ramakrishna waited and waited.

And he asked one of his disciples, "Go and see what happened to that man. Has he committed suicide? Has he jumped with the coins into the Ganges? - because this is too much time. It should have taken not more than two minutes."

The man went there, and there was a great crowd. And that rich man was taking one coin after another. First he would throw it on the stone pavement to see whether it is absolutely twenty-four carat gold or not, and then he would throw it into the Ganges. Naturally it was taking a long time, and a great crowd had gathered - what is he doing? And he was enjoying.

The man reported to Ramakrishna, so he himself went and he told the man, "You seem to be very idiotic. When one collects money, naturally one has to collect it one coin by one coin. But when you are throwing them, why be retail? Why waste time? You could have thrown the whole bag, all one thousand coins, in one go. And why are you making this exhibition? What is the need of checking all the coins, whether they are pure gold or not? They are not yours! And when you are throwing them, whether they are pure gold or not does not matter. But I know what the reason is - parting with one thousand coins in one go is too much for you, so you are parting with one coin at a time - and that too, not without making an exhibition."

Abhiyana, you say, "My very organs are disappearing one by one." You must be reluctant.

Somewhere deep down you must be clinging. The pillars of Chuang Tzu did not disappear one by one; the roof of the Chuang Tzu does not disappear part by part. It does not belong to you; but your organs are disappearing only by... slowly, slowly. Are you ready for surgery? Or is there a deep hold-back? That hold-back is creating your melancholy.

When I read your question, I could not believe it. This is the moment to celebrate - feeling empty, feeling silent, all the junk has disappeared from you, feeling pure - you are ready for the guest to come. But because of your hold-back, although the temple is ready, you are not opening its doors; the guest is standing outside.

It is a contradiction to feel empty and melancholy, because emptiness is meditation; and the ultimate in emptiness is enlightenment. This is the most glorious and the most significant experience in man's life.

And what are you worried about - your organs? If they are melting and disappearing, let them melt and disappear. They are your prison; they are your cage. Once they have disappeared, your soul is free to fly like an eagle across the sun.

Drop this stupid idea of melancholy.


In all this dance and song and celebration, how can you manage to be melancholy? You are doing something impossible. Either your emptiness is false or your melancholy is just an old habit. And that's what my understanding is, sadness, misery, melancholy - these are your old habits. Although you are dancing, those old habits are also dancing within you. Throw them out!

They are pure poison. They have destroyed millions of people's lives and they have destroyed your life too. Get rid of them. They are polluting and poisoning your very being.

Just have an experience, a new experience, a new adventure of disappearing completely - wholesale. And you will be surprised - when you disappear completely the whole existence is yours. Right now only bones and blood and skin, these are yours. Not a great treasure.... If you meet your own skeleton, you will run away so fast - "My God, Deva Abhiyana is coming!"

In one of the medical colleges in Bhopal, one of my friends was a doctor, and I used to stay with him. He was very much afraid of ghosts.

I said, "Being a doctor, and that too in a medical college where there are so many dead bodies collected for dissecting, and you are afraid of ghosts!"

He said, "Well, what to do, I am afraid. From my very childhood, I have been afraid."

So I said, "One thing has to be done. Tonight you get the key of that great hall where you are keeping many dead bodies and we will go there and see - there must be ghosts. So many dead bodies, their ghosts must be around them."

He said, "I don't want to go there. I don't go there even in the day. In the night, never!"

I said, "But I am going; give me the key."

He said, "But why are you getting into unnecessary trouble?"

I said, "For your sake, because if I am going you will have to come with me; you are my host."

Very reluctantly, unwillingly, he went with me.

I had made an arrangement. I had told another doctor who was also friendly with me, "You lie down amongst the corpses and when I enter the door... you have not to do anything, you just sit up. Cover yourself with a white cloth so nobody will know - that will be enough."

I took my friend there, opened the door, and pulled him inside the room by the hand. I said, "Come in, there is nothing to be worried about, these are dead bodies, skeletons. You also have a skeleton within your skin. So there is no need to worry; you belong to the same category. Soon you will be dead and you will be in this hall. It is better to be acquainted with these people right now."

As we entered, the doctor not only got up, but he screamed. He screamed because he was not aware that I had put another man in there also. So while he was lying down there, the other man was getting up, going down, getting up, going down. The doctor was almost on the verge of death, because he was not aware that there was another man also; and the door was locked so he could not escape: it is better to remain silent - if this ghost becomes aware of him, he's going to torture him.

As we reached the hall he threw off his white cloth, jumped out and said, "My God! You have put me in such trouble. I was thinking it is a joke; it is not a joke! There is another ghost, a real ghost! And he's doing exercises. He gets up, lies down, gets up, lies down.... You don't know in what hell I've been for these few hours."

And my friend who had come with me, his face became completely white.

He said, "This is a doctor?"

I said, "Yes, he is your colleague."

He said, "What is he doing here?"

I said, "Well, I don't know, just ask him."

But he was not in a situation to say anything. He was stuttering because he was shooing the other ghost away.

I said, "Let us go to him." Nobody was ready to go to him. I went and pulled up his cloth.

They both looked at him and they said, "Another colleague? My God, should we look at the other corpses also? Do doctors come to sleep here in the night?"

I said, "It is better you become acquainted - once in a while come and sleep here, and see what the ghosts do in the night. Sometimes they dance, they sing, they play ping-pong. And one day you are going to be here, so it is better to be acquainted beforehand; otherwise you will be in much trouble."

All three left me there and escaped. I had not told the first doctor about the second, neither had I told the second about the first. When the first jumped up, the second was so shocked that he started trying to feel his heart, whether he is still alive or he is finished. And my host could not sleep the whole night, again and again he would come into my room.

I said, "What is the matter?"

He said, "I feel afraid."

I said, "There is no question of being afraid."

He said, "How did it happen, the two colleagues? Are they dead? Are they real? And what were they doing there?"

I said, "How am I to know? I am not part of your medical college. You should know better...."

But both those doctors stopped meeting me - even if I would pass them, they would close their doors. They all used to live in small cottages around the medical college, and I used to go for a walk in the morning. And I would knock on their doors, and they would look from the window and close the window, too.

Abhiyana, let your organs disappear. What are those organs - your head, your legs, your hands, your heart - let them all disappear; melt into the whole existence. Dance so totally that there is only the dance and no dancer. And you will not be a loser, because in those moments of disappearance of your personality, you will come to know your essential spirituality - your eternity. Then the whole universe is you.

That is the meaning of the Upanishadic seers who shouted from the housetops, aham brahmasmi - I am the whole. This is the meaning of Al Hillaj Mansoor, who shouted in the marketplaces, ana'l haq - I am the truth.

But before you can know yourself as truth or as the whole, you have to disappear. And in this beautiful melting pot where so many people are disappearing, you also should take a little courage - jump into the pot!

Forget yourself, just even for a few moments, and it will give you an insight into existence for which you have been searching for many lives.

Question 3:



Sharna, you have guessed well; it is you. So don't be afraid, bump into yourself. And you may think that you are just too dim and unaware to notice him - but you have noticed him; otherwise, from where does this question come?

You say, "I am haunted by a feeling of missing." It is a good beginning. Everybody is missing himself, but is not aware - not even dimly aware.

"It is as if I am searching for somebody that I won't recognize." That too is true. You don't know yourself, so how are you going to recognize yourself? Somebody has to introduce you to yourself.

I'm here just to introduce you to yourself. You are working in England where people don't talk with each other without introduction.

I have heard... a man came out of the train very dizzy, feeling sick and nauseous. His wife had come to pick him up. She said, "What is the matter?"

He said, "The trouble is that I cannot sit in a train if my back is in the direction where the train is going. I become sick and dizzy because there is a contradiction - you are facing opposite to the direction of the train."

His wife said, "Then why did you not ask the other passenger who was sitting in front of you, and tell him your trouble? He would have readily exchanged seats."

He said, "I thought about it all the time, but the trouble is, nobody had introduced us. So how to start talking with the man?" The wife said, "That's certainly a difficulty. In England introduction is absolutely necessary."

After a few days, again he was feeling sick. When he came out of the train the wife said, "What happened?" He said, "The same thing; and this time it was even worse."

She said, "How can it be even worse than the last time?" He said, "This time, in front of my seat there was nobody. So whom to get introduced to and whom to ask to change the seat? It was empty."

It is immensely significant that you are missing something. Better would be to say, you are missing somebody; you are missing yourself. But this is a good beginning.

"It is as if I am searching for somebody that I won't recognize. "It is true. You have never seen yourself, you have never met yourself. You don't know your original face; hence the function of the master - to convince you that this is you.

"But I'm just too dim and unaware to notice him." You are not, because you are noticing him.

"However, having been back here with you for a few days, I get the feeling that I might bump into him at any moment." At any moment you are going to bump into him. And he's your real self. You are phony, you are the shadow - he is the real.

"Could it be me?"

Yes, I repeat, it is you.

Everybody is living a phony life, and the real being is following you, waiting for the moment when you will understand that your whole life is false. But there must be something real; otherwise, there could not be anything reflected in the mirror. If there is reflection, reflection is not a reality, but there must be someone who is being reflected.

Get ready, and don't be afraid, because it is not your enemy, it is you; it is your very divine being.

But there may be fear, because the moment you find your real being, your phony self will have to die, will have to disappear. And you have decorated it with so much care, educated it with so much trouble, have made it respectable, prestigious - all this will disappear, and the being which is just innocent like a child.... And you will have to start your life again from scratch; but it will be a real life.

Gurdjieff has written a book, MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN. He explains what he means by a "remarkable man" as One who has found his real self, and is not living as a shadow but as a reality. "But he has not found many - at the most two dozen people all over the world. He traveled all over the world in search of real men. Where there were billions of people, he could find only two dozen people whom he could say were authentic. What about the others? They were simply shadows, reflections in a mirror.

Gather courage, just a little courage. And it will be easier here than anywhere else, because many people here have bumped into themselves. And it has not been a disaster, it is not an accident; it has been a great opportunity, a great benediction.

Question 4:



Deva Vachana, all the religions have done immense harm to man's growth, but Christianity is at the top as far as harming humanity is concerned. They have used beautiful words to hide the ugly acts they are doing against you.

For example, unselfishness: a man who does not know himself, to tell him to be unselfish is so outrageously idiotic that one cannot believe that for two thousand years Christianity has been doing that.

Socrates says, "Know thyself; anything else is secondary." Knowing thyself, you can be unselfish.

In fact you will be unselfish; it won't be an effort on your part. Knowing thyself, you will know not only yourself, but you will know the self of everyone. It is the same; it is one consciousness, one continent. People are not islands.

But without teaching people how to know their own being, Christianity has played a very dangerous game, and one which has appealed to people because they have used a beautiful word, unselfishness. It looks religious, it looks spiritual. When I say to you, "First be selfish," it does not look spiritual.


Your mind is conditioned that unselfishness is spiritual. I know it is, but unless you are selfish enough to know yourself, unselfishness is impossible. Unselfishness will come as a consequence of knowing yourself, of being yourself. Then unselfishness will not be an act of virtue, not done in order to gain rewards in heaven. Then unselfishness will simply be your nature, and each act of unselfishness will be a reward unto itself.

But Christianity has put the bullocks behind the cart - nothing is moving, everything has got stuck.

The bullocks are stuck because the cart is in front of them, and the cart cannot move because no cart can move unless bullocks are ahead of it, moving it.

It happens to every Christian who comes here, that meditation gives a feeling of guilt - when the whole world is so troubled, when people are so poor, when people are dying of starvation, when people are suffering from AIDS, you are meditating. You must be utterly selfish. First help the poor, first help the people who are suffering from AIDS, first help everybody else.

But your life is very short. In seventy or eighty years, how many unselfish acts can you do? And when are you going to find time for meditation - because whenever you will ask for meditation, those poor are there, new diseases have sprung up, orphans are there, beggars are there.

One Christian mother was telling her small boy, "To be unselfish is a fundamental of our religion.

Never be selfish, help others."

The little boy - and little boys are more perceptive and clear than your so-called old boys - the little boy said, "This seems to be a very strange thing, that I should help others and they should help me.

Why not make it simple? - I help myself, they help themselves." This fundamental of the religion seems to be very complicated - and unnecessarily complicated.

In fact, Christianity has condemned all the Eastern religions for the simple reason that to Christianity they look selfish.

Mahavira meditating for twelve years... he should be teaching in a school, or being a male nurse in a hospital. Although, naked, it will look a little bit strange. He should look after orphans, be a Mother Theresa and get a Nobel prize.

It is clear that no meditator has ever received a Nobel prize. For what? - because you have not done anything unselfish. You are the most selfish people in the world, just meditating and enjoying your silence and peace and blissfulness, finding the truth, finding God, becoming completely free from all prisons. But this is all selfishness. So the Christian mind finds it a little difficult to accept the idea of meditation. In Christianity there is no meditation, only prayer.

They cannot call Gautam Buddha a really religious man, because what has he done for the poor?

What has he done for the sick? What has he done for the old? He became enlightened - that is the ultimate in selfishness.

But the East has a totally different outlook - and far more logical, reasonable, understandable. The East has always thought. "Unless you have a peace, a silence in your heart, a song in your being, a light radiating your enlightenment, you cannot do any service to anybody."

You yourself are sick; you yourself are an orphan because you have not found yet the ultimate security of existence, the eternal safety of life. You are so poor yourself that inside there is nothing but darkness. How can you help others? - you are drowning yourself. It will be dangerous to help others. Most probably, you will drown the other person also.

First you have to learn swimming yourself. Then only can you be of any help to someone who is drowning.

My approach is absolutely clear. First be selfish, and discover all that is contained in yourself - all the joys and all the blissfulness and all the ecstasies. And then unselfishness will come just like your shadow follows you - because to have a dancing heart, to have God in your being, you have to share it. You cannot go on keeping it, like a miser, because miserliness in your inner growth is a death.

The economics of inner growth is different from the outer economics.

A beggar was standing on the street and he stopped a car. He asked for something because he had not eaten for three days. The man in the car had just won a lottery. And looking at the beggar, he could not believe it - his clothes, although very old, dirty, showed that he came from a good family.

His face, his language, all gave indications that he was educated.

He was so full of money at that moment that he took out a one hundred rupee note, and gave it to the beggar. The beggar looked at the note and started laughing.

The man in the car said, "Why are you laughing?"

He said, "I am laughing because soon you will be standing in my place. This is how I became a beggar. Once I used to have my own car; once I used to have thousands of rupees - but I went on distributing. It won't take a long time for you - I will see you again."

The ordinary economics is that if you go on giving, you will have less and less and less. But the spiritual economics is that if you don't give, you will have less and less and less; if you give, you will have more and more and more.

The laws of the outside world and the inside world are diametrically opposite. First become rich inside, first become an emperor, and then you have so much to share. You will not call it even unselfishness. And you will not desire that any reward should be given to you - here or here-after.

You will not even ask for gratitude from the man you have given something to; on the contrary, you will be grateful that he did not reject you, your love, your bliss, your ecstasy. He was receptive, he allowed you to pour your heart and your songs and your music into his being.

The Christian idea of unselfishness is sheer stupidity. The East has never thought in the same way.

The whole East and its search for truth is very long. It has found one simple fact, that first you have to take care of yourself, and then only you can take care of others.

Vachana, you feel a certain guilt. You say, "I seem to have to push through a layer of unease, guilt and confusion. I know there is a big difference. Would you speak to us about it?"

It is a simple phenomenon. Christianity has deceived millions of people on a wrong path. In America, the fundamentalist Christians were the cause that destroyed our commune. Ronald Reagan is a fundamentalist Christian; and a fundamentalist Christian is the most fanatic, the most bigotted person you can find. We were not doing any harm to anybody. But the problem for them was that we were so happy, so blissful - they could not tolerate it.

Even here... the East has forgotten its own peaks of glory - the days of Gautam Buddha and Mahavira. Now it lives... even people who are not Christians are influenced by the Christian ideology.

The Indian constitution says that charity consists of helping the poor, spreading education to the poor, making hospitals for the poor.

None of these three things will be found in the teachings of Gautam Buddha. Not that he is against helping the poor, but because he knows that if you are a meditator you will help, but you will not brag about it. It will be a simple, natural thing.

From this mystery school they have taken away the tax exempt status because they say it is not a charitable institution. To teach meditation is not charity. To open a hospital is charity. To open a school and teach geography and history is charity. And what are you going to teach in geography?

- where is Timbuktu, where is Constantinople. Its Hindi name is Kustutunia. In history, what are you going to teach? - about Genghis Khan, Tamurlane, Nadirshah, Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible. This is charity.

But to teach people to be silent, peaceful, loving, joyous, contented, fulfilled is not charity. Even the people who are not Christians have become infected with the disease.

Mahatma Ghandi, at least three times in his life, was almost on the verge of becoming a Christian.

And he was a Christian, ninety percent.

Dr. Ambedkar, who wrote the Indian constitution, has been thinking for years that he and his followers - the untouchables - should become Christians. Finally he decided that they should become Buddhists.

But in the whole constitution you can see the impact of Christianity. In the whole Indian constitution there is not even the mention of the word meditation - which has been the only contribution of the East to the world, and the most precious contribution. The constitution reflects more what the Christian missionaries go on teaching. It does not reflect Gautam Buddha, it does not reflect Kabir, it does not reflect Nanak.

We have been fighting the case for years. But the problem is that the bureaucrats follow the words, not the spirit. They cannot accept it, that this is a charitable institution. And I cannot see that there can be any charity without meditation.

So your guilt is just a wrong conditioning. Drop it, without even giving it a second thought. I will make you unselfish by making you absolutely selfish. First I have to make you inwardly rich - so rich, so overflowingly rich, that you have to share, just as a raincloud has to share its rain with the thirsty earth. But first the cloud must be full of rain. Saying to the empty clouds, "You should be unselfish,"

is just irrational.

People even come here, well wishers, with good intentions. They say, "This is a strange ashram. You should open a hospital for the poor; you should collect the orphans; you should distribute clothes to the beggars; you should help those who need help."

My own approach is totally different. I can distribute birth control methods to the poor so that there are no orphans. I can distribute the pill to the poor so there is no explosion of population - because I don't see the point: first create the orphans and then create orphanages and then serve them and waste your life.

When I started speaking thirty-five years ago, India had only a population of four hundred million.

And I have been saying since then that birth control is an absolute necessity. But all Christians are against birth control. And just within thirty-five years, India has more than doubled its population.

From four hundred million it has gone to nine hundred million. Five hundred million people could have been prevented and there would have been no need of Mother Teresa, no need for the pope to come to India and teach unselfishness.

But people are strange - first let them become sick, then give medicine. And they have found beautiful ways. In every Lions Club and Rotary Club, they keep boxes for their members - if you purchase a bottle of some medicine and you are cured, and half the bottle is still there, you donate it to the Lions Club. This way they collect medicine, and then they are great, unselfish people; they are distributing the medicine. Service is their motto. But it is a very cunning service. Those medicines were going to be thrown away - if you are cured, what are you going to do with the remaining medicine?

It is a great idea to collect all those medicines and distribute them to the poor - and have a great feeling of being public servants.

In my vision, the thing that man needs first and foremost is a meditative consciousness. And after you have your meditative consciousness, whatever you do will be helpful to everybody; you cannot do any harm, you can do only compassionate and loving acts.

But even the Indian constitution does not accept a school of meditation as charitable. And this is the greatest charity possible.

I repeat again, Vachana, first be selfish. Know thyself, be thyself and then your very life will be nothing but a sharing, an unselfish sharing, and without asking for any reward in this world or in the other world.

Okay Vimal?

Yes, Osho.

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Israel slaughters Palestinian elderly

Sat, 15 May 2010 15:54:01 GMT

The Israeli Army fatally shoots an elderly Palestinian farmer, claiming he
had violated a combat zone by entering his farm near Gaza's border with

On Saturday, the 75-year-old, identified as Fuad Abu Matar, was "hit with
several bullets fired by Israeli occupation soldiers," Muawia Hassanein,
head of the Gaza Strip's emergency services was quoted by AFP as saying.

The victim's body was recovered in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the north
of the coastal sliver.

An Army spokesman, however, said the soldiers had spotted a man nearing a
border fence, saying "The whole sector near the security barrier is
considered a combat zone." He also accused the Palestinians of "many
provocations and attempted attacks."

Agriculture remains a staple source of livelihood in the Gaza Strip ever
since mid-June 2007, when Tel Aviv imposed a crippling siege on the
impoverished coastal sliver, tightening the restrictions it had already put
in place there.

Israel has, meanwhile, declared 20 percent of the arable lands in Gaza a
no-go area. Israeli forces would keep surveillance of the area and attack
any farmer who might approach the "buffer zone."

Also on Saturday, the Israeli troops also injured another Palestinian near
northern Gaza's border, said Palestinian emergency services and witnesses.


-- ? 2009 Press TV