Ref: 83/2019

On the 66th Friday of the Great March of Return, 74 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 23 children, 2 women including a journalist, another journalist and 2 paramedics were among those injured this Friday 12 July 2019.

Despite the decline in the number of injuries compared to those of last week, 4 civilians, including 2 children, sustained serious and critical wounds, indicating the deliberate attempt by the Israeli forces to kill and maim the protestors by targeting them in fatal areas of their bodies.

The National Authority of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege mobilized a few thousand participants in the protest, titled “No Negotiation, No Recognition, And No Peace with Israel”.

PCHR documented the participation of hundreds of civilians in 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; a single case involving a Molotov cocktail was also documented.

Nonetheless, 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.

This week’s march included, PCHR has documented 207 killings by Israel since the outbreak of the protests on 30 March 2018, including 44 children, 2 women, 9 persons with disabilities, 4 paramedics, and 2 journalists. Additionally, 13,127 were wounded, including 2658 children, 401 women, 216 paramedics and 204 journalists.

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

Northern Gaza Strip: the Israeli attacks against protestors resulted in the injury of 12 civilians, including 7 children: 9 were shot with live bullets and shrapnel, 2 with rubber bullets, and 1 directly hit with a teargas canister. Ameer Mohamed Rajab Naser (18), sustained critical wounds after being shot with a live bullet in his abdomen while present 70 meters away west of Abu Safyia gate.

 

Gaza City: approximately 500 protestors participated in eastern Malakah area protests. A few groups approached the border and attempted to throw stones at soldiers using slingshots. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition and teargas canisters at the protesters. As a result, 2 civilians were directly hit with teargas canisters while others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

Central Gaza Strip: Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets as well as teargas canisters at protestors. 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 8 children, a journalist, a paramedic, and a person with disability were injured; 20 injuries resulted from live bullets and shrapnel, 6 with rubber bullets and 1 with a teargas canister. Omar ‘Abdullah Ahmed al-Sayed (14), from al-Maghazi, sustained serious wounds after being hit with a live bullet in his abdomen. The wounded journalist was identified as Mahmoud Zakarai Mohamed Abu Musalam (22), from al-Maghazi, who was shot with a rubber bullet to the leg. The paramedic was identified as Khader ‘Adel Mostafa Mayat (32) while the person with disability was identified as Ibrahim Suliman al-‘Amour (40), who was hit with a rubber bullet to the face.

Khan Younis: 16 civilians were injured, including 4 children, a woman and a paramedic; 6  shot with live bullets and 10 with rubber bullets and teargas canisters directly targeting them.  The condition of Yaseen Mohamed Mousa ‘Arram (40), who was hit with a live bullet in his abdomen, was deemed critical. Dozens of civilians, including paramedics, also suffered teargas inhalation. The volunteer paramedic, Mahmoud Suliman Qudaieh (27), was directly hit with a tear gas canister in his abdomen while rescuing a wounded civilian at least 20 meters away from the border fence.

Rafah: 16 civilians, including 4 children and a journalist were injured; 6 shot with live bullets and shrapnel, and 10 with rubber bullets. One of the children, Khaled Bassam Barhoum (12), sustained serious wounds after being hit with a rubber bullet in abdomen. The journalist, Touqa Suliman Isma’il al-Zamily (27), sustained minor wounds in her left leg when hit with a rubber bullet in her right leg. Moreover, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

PCHR strongly condemns the continued Israeli attacks and excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrations in the oPt. PCHR reiterates that the unhindered Israeli violence is encouraged by the climate of impunity that it enjoys, and that Israeli forces’ human rights violations are supported by its highest military and political offices.