On 76th Friday of Great March of Return, A Palestinian civilian was killed and 86 civilians were injured as a result of the Israeli military’s continued use of excessive force against the peaceful protests along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border; 22 children, 4 female paramedics, 5 male paramedics and 2 persons with disabilities were among those injured this Friday, 27 September 2019.
This week witnessed an escalation in the use of excessive force against the proesters as injury of 5 of them deemed serious; one died after hours of his injury while 4, including a child and a female paramedic, are still in a very serious condition. Further, 40 protestors were shot with live bullets while the Israeli forces escalated their attacks against the medical personnel, which enjoys protection under the international humanitarian law, wounding 9 paramedics, including a female paramedic deemed in a very critical condition.
The Supreme National Authority of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege called for today’s protests under the slogan “al-Aqsa Intifada and Palestinian Prisoners”, coinciding with the 19th anniversary of al-Aqsa Intifada.
The protests lasted from 15:00 to 19:00 and involved activities such as speeches by political leaders and theatrical performances. Hundreds of civilians protested at varied distances from the border fence across the Gaza Strip. Protestors, who were near the border fence or hundreds of meters away from it, threw 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 212 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, 14,056 were wounded, including 3,020 children, 429 women, 244 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:
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. 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. As a result, 22 civilians injured, including 10 children; 2 paramedics, 2 persons with disabilities. Among those injured, 8 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel; 8 were hit with tear gas canisters; and 6 were shot with rubber bullets. The injured paramedics were identified as ‘Atef Mohammed ‘Ali al-‘Arbid (48), a Civil Defense paramedic who was shot with a rubber bullet to the face, causing a fracture to the upper jaw; and Mohammed Husni ‘Abdulatif al-Haw (23), a Military Medical Services paramedic, who was shot with a rubber bullet to the left hand and treated in the medical point. Meanwhile, the persons with disabilities were identified as Saber ‘Ali ‘Abdel Qader al-Ashqar (37), a double amputee who was shot with a rubber bullet in the left arm; and Mohammed Nabil ‘Abdullah al-Zaharnah (24), a deaf who was shot with a live bullet to the abdomen.
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, 12 civilians were injured: 6 with live bullets and their shrapnel; 4 with rubber bullets and 2 with teargas 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 quadcopter to photograph protestors, who had set fire to tires and thrown stones with slingshots and sound bombs at the Israeli soldiers; also, they shot them with live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters. The Israeli attacks, which continued until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 15 civilians, including a child: 11 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel; 2 with rubber bullets and 2 with tear gas canisters.
Hundreds participated in Khuza’ah protests. Tens approached the border fence and attempted to throw stones, Molotov Cocktails and firecrackers. Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the protesters, wounding 21 civilians, including 4 children and 7 paramedics; 3 of them were female paramedics. Seven of those wounded were hit with rubber bullets and 14 were directly hit with tear gas canisters, noting that only 9 injuries were referred to hospitals while others received treatment in field due to their minor injuries. The wounded paramedics were identified as: Saleh Khaled Ahmed al-Haj (21), who was hit with a teargas canister in the left eye; Mohammed Akram Safi (19), who was hit with a teargas canister in the back; Kamal Jawad al-Shahri (24), who was hit with a rubber bullet in the back; Farhmah Walid al-Najjar (35), who was hit with a teargas canister in the hand; Ibtisam Mohammed Abu Louli (22), from Rafah and was hit with a teargas canister in the back; Shorouq Sa’id Abu Reidah (21), who was hit with a teargas canister in the foot; and Naser Hisham Mousa (22), who was hit with a rubber bullet to the right hand. All of them are with the Watan Medical Team except Safi and al-Haj who both are volunteers for the Union of Health Care Committees and Mousa who is a PRCS paramedic.
Hundreds participated in the eastern Shokah protests, where folklore songs and speeches were held. Dozens approached the border fence and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at the shielded Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters. As a result, Saher ‘Awadallah Jaber ‘Othman (20) declared dead in al-Shifa hospital at approximately 21:30 after sustaining serious wounds due to being shot with a bullet in the chest at approximately 17:45. Further, 16 civilians were injured, including 7 children and a female paramedic deemed in a serious condition in addition to 3 other civilians in the same condition: 15 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel; 1 with a rubber bullet and with a tear gas canister. The female paramedic was identified as Sabrin Jaber ‘Abdel Rahim Qeshtah (28), a member of ‘Abdullah Life Pulse Team and was hit with a bullet in the upper extremities and the abdomen. Meanwhile, those seriously wounded were identified as ‘Abdul Halim Sa’id al-‘Abadlah (20), who was hit with a bullet to the lower extremities; Mahmoud Yousif Abu ‘Azoum (14) who was hit with a bullet in the lower extremities and a third one, still unidentified, with a bullet to the neck.