Ref: 114/2019

Ninety-seven Palestinian civilians, including 45 children and 2 women, were injured due to Israeli soldiers’ excessive use of force against peaceful protestors at the 79th Great March of Return, this Friday, 18 October 2019.

This week witnessed an increase in injuries, particularly children, comparing with last week; as well as Israeli soldiers’ ongoing use of excessive force against protesters. A young man sustained serious injuries and 35 others were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel in addition to other injuries in the upper body due to direct targeting with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters.

Hundreds of civilians took part in the Great March of Return (GRM) in the five encampments across the Gaza Strip.  Titled this week as “”No to Normalization with Israel,” 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, 14,355 were wounded, including 3,549 children, 382 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 23 civilians, including 16 children: 6 were shot with live bullets and shrapnel; 13 were shot with rubber bullets; and 5 were hit with tear gas canisters.

Gaza City: Israeli forces’ attacks against protestors resulted in the injury of 23 civilians, including 10 children: 7 with live bullets and shrapnel; 11 with rubber bullets and 5 with teargas canisters.

Central Gaza Strip: Israeli shooting and firing teargas canisters at protestors resulted in the injury of 21 civilians, including 7 children and 2 women: 10 were shot with live bullets, 10 were hit with teargas canisters and 1 was shot with a rubber bullet.

Khan Younis: Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors; some of them burnt tires near the fence.  As a result, 5 civilians, including 1 child, were wounded, and all of them were transferred to hospitals. Among those wounded, a civilian sustained shrapnel wounds, and 4 were shot with rubber bullets and hit with teargas canisters. In addition, many civilians sustained superficial rubber bullet wounds and suffocated due to tear gas inhalation; they received treatment on the spot.

Rafah: Israeli shooting and firing teargas canisters at protestors resulted in the injury 25 civilians, including 11 children and a young man sustaining serious wounds. Eleven of those wounded were shot with live bullets and shrapnel, 13 were shot with rubber bullets, and one was directly hit with a tear gas canister. The young man sustaining serious, Iyad Ibrahim Hussein Zanoun (24), was shot with a live bullet to the back.