Two children killed, 120 Palestinians injured at Demonstrations in Gaza

September 10, 2018 HUMAN RIGHTS , Middle East , News , OPINION/NEWS

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During the Great Return March demonstrations on Friday, 7 September 2018, in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed two children and injured another protester, who later died from his wounds. About 120 demonstrators were injured, including 24 children, four paramedics, and one journalist.


The documentation by NGO Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights shows that at 3:30pm on Friday, 7 September 2018, Israeli forces located to the east of the separation fence fired live ammunition, plastic-coated bullets, and tear gas canisters at unarmed Palestinians, including journalists and paramedics, at the Great Return March demonstrations. Al Mezan’s documentation shows that:


At 5:50pm, Bilal Khafaja, a 16-year-old resident of Al-Jneena neighborhood in the Rafah district, was shot in the chest with a live bullet fired by Israeli forces in eastern Rafah. Half an hour later, doctors at the European Gaza Hospital pronounced him dead as a result of his injury.


Earlier on Friday, medical sources reported the death of Amjad Hamdouna, a 19-year-old resident of Jabalia refugee camp. Hamdouna died as a result of critical wounds he sustained on 13 July 2018 while participating in the demonstration in the North Gaza district.


Mahmoud Shatha, a 24-year-old photojournalist working for Rowwad Al-Haqiqa and Safad Press agencies, was shot in the left leg with a live bullet while covering the demonstrations. Doctors stated his wounds were moderate.


Nabil Saqir, a 38-year-old paramedic working for the Medical Services, was shot in the left leg with a live bullet. Fadi Ali, a 24-year-old paramedic working for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), was hit in the left leg with a tear gas canister. Mohammed Abu Foul, a 26-year-old paramedic working for PRCS, was hit in the left shoulder with a tear gas canister. The three paramedics were injured while evacuating and providing medical care to casualties in North Gaza.


Ahmed Al-Naqa, a 30-year-old paramedic working for the Palestinian Civil Defense, was hit in the right leg with shrapnel from live fire. He was injured while evacuating and providing medical care to casualties in Khan Younis.


Al Mezan’s documentation shows that from the start of the Great Return March on 30 March 2018, 183 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. Of them, 133 were killed in the demonstrations—including 25 children, one woman, two journalists, three paramedics, and three persons with disability. Another 9,371 people were injured, including 1,729 children, 410 women, 107 paramedics, and 86 journalists. Of those injured, 5,310 were hit by live fire, including 871 children and 112 women.


Al Mezan reiterates its condemnation of the use of lethal and other excessive force by the Israeli forces, including sharpshooters, to police demonstrations. Al Mezan stresses its condemnation of the continued attacks on medics and journalists, whose service adheres to the standards of impartiality and neutrality. Al Mezan stresses that the right to peaceful assembly and free expression are fundamental rights and must be respected. Unarmed protesters not posing any serious or imminent threat to the Israeli forces must not be shot. The excessive use of force indicates a continuation of unlawful targeting practices on the part of the Israeli forces despite its legal consequences and international condemnation.


Al Mezan urges the international community, led by the Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to take prompt and effective steps to ensure respect for international law and provide meaningful protection for unarmed protesters and civilians throughout Gaza. The duty to protect civilians is a principal legal obligation and is, at this point in the conflict, a test of the authenticity of the international community’s commitment to their legal obligations, moral standards and humanitarian objectives vis-à-vis the Palestinian population.


Al Mezan stresses its position that the failure to hold to account perpetrators of human rights and international humanitarian law violations encourages the advancement of impunity. Al Mezan therefore calls on the international community to activate accountability mechanisms in order to ensure that violators are brought to justice in accordance with international humanitarian and criminal law. In this vein, the international community is called upon to support the UN Commission of Inquiry’s impartial and independent investigation into the apparent unlawful deployment of force against unarmed demonstrators.





Al Mezan Center For Human Rights

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental human rights organization based in the Gaza Strip. Since its establishment in 1999, Al Mezan has been dedicated to protecting and advancing the respect of human rights — especially economic, social and cultural rights — supporting victims of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and enhancing democracy, community and citizen participation, and respect for the rule of law in Gaza as part of the occupied Palestinian territory.

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