Ref: 108/2019

A Palestinian civilian was killed, and 65 others injured, including 25 children, a woman and a paramedic, as a result of Israeli attacks against peaceful protestors at the 77th Great March of Return, this Friday, 04 October 2019.

Israeli forces persisted in the use of excessive lethal force against the protestors, killing a Palestinian civilian and injuring dozens, 27 of them sustained live bullet wounds mainly in their upper bodies. PCHR documented an increased use of rubber bullets by Israeli forces as many protestors sustained minor wounds and were treated in the field.

Thousands of Palestinians participated in today’s protests across the five Great March of Return encampments in the Gaza Strip, under the slogan “Reconciliation is the People’s Choice”. The protests lasted from 15:00 to 19:00 and involved activities such as speeches and theatrical performances. Hundreds of civilians protested at varied distances from the border fence across the Gaza Strip, where some protestors attempted to throw stones, Molotov Cocktails and firecrackers at the Israeli forces, who responded with excessive force.  As a result, dozens of civilians were directly shot while other suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

PCHR documented 213 killings by Israel since the outbreak of the protests on 30 March 2018, including 46 children, 2 women, 9 persons with disabilities, 4 paramedics and 2 journalists. Additionally, 14,115 were wounded, including 3,051 children, 430 women, 245 paramedics and 215 journalists, noting that many of those injured had sustained multiple injuries on separate occasions.

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

Northern Gaza Strip: At approximately 16:00, Hundreds of civilians participated in Abu Safiyah area protests, northeast of Jabalia. Speeches, theatrical performances and other segments were performed at the protest central encampment. At approximately 16:15, dozens of protestors approached the border fence, threw stones as well as firecrackers at the Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. At approximately 16:35 on the same day, Israeli soldiers opened fire at civilians, who were adjacent to Abu Safiyah Gate. As a result, ‘Ala’a Nezar ‘Ayesh Hamdan (28), from Beit Hanoun, was shot with a live bullet in the chest and he was transferred via an ambulance of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to the medical point where medical crews tried to resuscitate him for half an hour, with no avail. At approximately 17:05, Hamdan was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Indonesian Hospital where he was pronounced dead approximately 15 minutes later. According to the statement of the ambulance officers, who transferred him to the medical point, Hamdan was shot in front of the main gate of Abu Safiyah area while he was about 80 – 100 meters west of the border fence. Furthermore, Israeli forces injured 12 civilians, including 9 children; 5 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 5 were shot with rubber bullets, and 2 with tear gas canisters.

Gaza City: Hundreds of protestors took part in eastern Malakah area. Speeches, theatrical performances and other segments were performed at the protest central encampment. Dozens of protestors approached the fence and threw stones with slingshots at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 9 civilians were injured, including 6 children: 5 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 2 with rubber bullets and 2 were hit with tear gas canisters.

Central Gaza Strip: hundreds of civilians, including women and children, took part in the eastern Bureij refugee camp protests; dozens gathered adjacent to the border fence at a range varying between 3 – 300 meters and raised the Palestinian flags. The Israeli soldiers launched a quad copter to photograph protestors, who had set fire to tires and thrown stones, sound bombs and Molotov Cocktails at the Israeli soldiers; the latter responded with live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 15 civilians were injured, including 2 children; 10 civilians were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 3 with rubber bullets, and 2 with tear gas canisters.

Khan Younis: Hundreds participated in Khuza’ah protests. Speeches, theatrical performances and other segments were performed at the protest central encampment. Tens approached the border fence and attempted to throw stones, firecrackers and Molotov Cocktails. Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at protestors, wounding 10 civilians, including 2 children and a paramedic and they were transferred to hospitals: 2 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 3 were shot with rubber bullets and 5 were hit with tear gas canisters. Moreover, many civilians sustained minor wounds after being hit with rubber bullets and they received medical treatment on the spot. The wounded volunteer paramedic, ‘Ali Abdul ‘Aziz Fuseifes (22), from Bani Suheila, was hit with a tear gas canister to the head.

Rafah:

1500 civilians participated in the eastern Shokah protests, where folklore songs and speeches were held in addition to commemorating Saher ‘Othman, who was killed in last week’s protests. Dozens approached the border fence and threw stones at the shielded Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters. As a result, 19 civilians injured, including 6 children; 5 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 11 were shot with rubber bullets and 5 were hit with tear gas canisters.