Ref: 112/2019

Seventy-one Palestinian civilians, including 28 children, were injured due to Israeli soldiers’ excessive use of force against peaceful protestors at the 78th Great March of Return, this Friday, 11 October 2019.

Israeli forces persisted in the use of excessive force against the protestors participating in the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege activities. PCHR’s fieldworkers documented 33 injuries with live-bullet wounds; 3 civilians, including 2 children, with critical wounds; and others with wounds in the upper body due to direct targeting with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters.

PCHR fieldworkers observed large civilian participation across the five Great March of Return encampments in the Gaza Strip, titled this week as “”Our Martyr Children.” 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.

PCHR documented 214 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, 14,251 were wounded, including 3,501 children, 380 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: Israeli forces’ attacks against protestors resulted in the injury of 21 civilians, including 8 children: 6, including a child, were shot with live bullets and shrapnel; 11 of them including 4 children were shot with rubber bullets; and 4 of them including 3 children were hit with tear gas canisters. Samer Wael Rajab al-Refi (23), from al-Toufah neighborhood, sustained serious wounds after being shot with a live bullet in his neck.

Gaza City: Israeli forces’ attacks against protestors resulted in the injury of 6 civilians, including 2 children: 3 with live bullets and shrapnel; and 3 with rubber bullets.

Central Gaza Strip: Israeli shooting and firing tear gas canisters at protestors resulted in the injury of 13 civilians, including 4 children; one of them deemed in extremely critical condition: 8 were shot with live bullets and shrapnel, and 4 were hit with tear gas canisters. All of them were then taken to al-Aqsa Hospital, where their injuries were classified between minor and moderate. Furthermore, dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and received medical treatment on the spot while others were taken to hospitals. Bahaa’ Mostafa Salama Abu Rokaab (17), from al-Zawayda village, sustained serious wounds after being shot with a live bullet in his abdomen.

Khan Younis: Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors, wounding 6 civilians, including 2 children; one of them deemed in extremely critical condition. All of them were transferred to hospitals. Among those wounded, a civilian was shot with a live bullet, and 5 were shot with rubber bullets and hit with tear gas canisters. In addition, many civilians sustained superficial rubber bullets wounds and suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received treatment on the spot. ‘Alaa Hani al-‘Abasi (13) sustained serious wounds after being hit with a tear gas canister in his head. He was then taken to the Gaza European Hospital to receive treatment.

Rafah: Israeli shooting and firing tear gas canisters at protestors resulted in the injury 25 civilians, including 8 children; 4 of them were shot with live bullets and shrapnel, 20 were shot with rubber bullets, and one was directly hit with a tear gas canister.