Ref: 81/2019

On the 65th Friday of the Great March of Return, 95 Palestinian civilians were injured due to the Israeli military’s continued use of excessive force against peaceful protests along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border. At least 33 children, 4 women including a volunteer paramedic, and a journalist were among those injured this Friday 05 July 2019.

 

The National Authority of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege mobilized a few thousand participants in the protest, titled “United against Conspirators.” PCHR fieldworkers affirmed the peaceful nature of the protest and the absence of violence that would provoke Israeli soldiers’ use of live ammunition and tear gas.

 

According to PCHR’s documentation, the death toll since the outbreak of the protests on 30 March 2018 has reached 207, including 44 children, 2 women, 9 persons with disabilities, 4 paramedics, and 2 journalists. Additionally, 13,053 were wounded, including 2635 children, 398 women, 214 paramedics and 203 journalists.

The following is a summary of today’s incidents along the Gaza Strip border:

 

Northern Gaza Strip: thousands of civilians flocked to Abu Safiyah area in Jabalia refugee camp to participate in the Great March of Return.  The camp’s center witnessed peaceful activities, such as Dabkah, folklore songs and raising Palestinian flags.  A few dozens of protestors approached the border fence and attempted to throw stones, to which the Israeli soldiers, stationed along the border fence, responded with live and rubber bullets as well as teargas canisters.  As a result, 18 were wounded: 7 with live bullets, 3 with teargas canisters and 8 with rubber bullets. There were 9 children among the injured, including a deaf child who was shot with a rubber bullet.

 

Gaza City: between 17:00 and 19:00, hundreds of protestors raising Palestinian flags marched towards the central tent of the Great March of Return in eastern Malakah area. A few groups walked up to 50 meters from the border and attempted to throw stones at soldiers using slingshots. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition and teargas canisters at the protesters, wounding 7, including a child: 4 were shot with live bullets; and 3 were directly hit with teargas canisters.

 

Central Gaza Strip: approximately 1200 protesters participated in eastern al-Bureij refugee camp protests.  Dozens approached the border fence and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed there; the latter responded with live ammunition and teargas canisters.  Also, an Israeli drone fired teargas canisters on the camp’s central gathering area; yet, it was shot at from an unknown source. As a result, 28 protesters, including 7 children, 2 women and a journalist were injured; 20 injuries resulted from live bullets and shrapnel, 2 with rubber bullets and 5 with teargas canisters directly shot at them. The journalist was identified as Sami Jamal Musran (34). Mr. Musran was shot with a rubber bullet to the chest while wearing his “PRESS” flak jacket. Fortunately, Musran was not hurt and received treatment on the spot. Additionally, a group of young men crossed the border fence and returned but for 2 who were arrested by the Israeli soldiers, they have not been identified yet.

 

Khan Younis: Approximately 1500 civilians participated in the protests organized in Khuza’ah, east of Khan Younis where speeches were delivered and national songs were chanted. Meanwhile, dozens of protesters approached the border fence, and attempted to throw stones at the Israeli soldiers sheltered in military vehicles behind sand berms along the border.  Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at the protesters, injuring 16, including 2 children and a paramedic; 5 shot with live bullets and shrapnel, 5 with rubber bullets and 6 with teargas canisters directly targeting them.  One of the children, Rami Mustafa Khalil Barikh (13), was seriously injured in the head by a teargas canister and his condition was deemed critical.  Also, a female paramedic, Nahlah Jarghoun (22) sustained a shrapnel wound to the foot. Dozens of civilians, including paramedics, also suffered teargas inhalation.

 

Rafah: Around 1500 civilians participated in the protests east of Shoka village, east of Rafah. The gathering witnessed lively speeches, folklore and scout songs. Meanwhile, dozens of protesters approached the border fence and threw stones. The Israeli soldiers used live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters against the protestors, injuring 26 civilians, including 13 children, 3 women and a journalist; 2 shot with live bullets, 18 with rubber bullets and 6 with targeted teargas canisters. The journalist sustained minor wounds in his left leg when hit with a teargas canister and was identified as Atta Bassel Mahmoud Fujo (22).