Gaza’s health ministry has announced the death of the youngest person yet to be killed during Great March of Return protests.
Ahmad Yasir Sabri Abid, 4 years and 8 months old, died on Tuesday from injuries sustained the previous Friday during protests in Khan Younis, southern Gaza.
A senior health ministry official told The Times of Israel that the boy “was hit by bullet shrapnel in the face, chest and stomach at a protest” as a result of Israeli fire.
Some 180 Palestinians have been shot dead and nearly 6,000 others injured by live fire during Great March of Return protests along Gaza’s eastern and northern perimeter since 30 March. Nearly three dozen of those killed were children.
Palestinian child fatalities due to Israeli fire have spiked in 2018, with more than 50 killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – one death per week on average.
Ahmad Abid’s is the first Great March of Return death in a month, as protest fatalities in Gaza decrease and deadly encounters between Israelis and Palestinians rise in the West Bank.
West Bank killings
Israeli forces shot and killed Omar Hassan al-Awawdeh, 27, in Idhna village near the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday.
Israel claimed that soldiers shot al-Awawdeh after he drove through a checkpoint without stopping and accelerated towards a Border Police combatant.
No Israeli forces were injured during the incident.
Israeli media reported that forces were in the village standing guard as the Civil Administration, part of the bureaucratic arm of the military occupation, “were taking part in an effort to crack down on the illegal burning of garbage.”
Al-Awawdeh is the second Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank so far this month.
Israeli soldiers shot Muhammad Habali, a 22-year-old with cognitive and physical disabilities, in the head from behind at a distance of 80 meters during a raid on the city of Tulkarm on 4 December.
Video recordings and eyewitness testimony contradict Israel’s claims that Habali was killed during a “violent disturbance of the peace” by “dozens of Palestinians … throwing stones.”
The Israeli rights group B’Tselem obtained footage from multiple security cameras showing the “area was perfectly quiet and that there were no clashes there with soldiers” in the moments before Habali was shot:
“Quite the contrary” to Israel’s claims, according to B’Tselem, “the soldiers are seen walking unhurriedly, the Palestinians are seen talking amongst themselves, and then the soldiers fatally shoot Habali in the head from a considerable distance. The lethal shooting was not preceded by a warning, was not justified and constitutes a violation of the law.”
Another resident of Tulkarm was shot in the leg.
The soldiers did not provide either men with medical assistance, according to B’Tselem.
Israeli forces launched massive raids in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, on Monday and Tuesday:
The raids were part of a wider operation in the central West Bank after a drive-by shooting at a bus stop near the settlement of Ofra on Sunday night. A 21-year-old Israeli woman in her seventh month of pregnancy was critically injured in the attack.
The shooting was recorded by nearby security cameras:
Six others were lightly to moderately injured, including the pregnant woman’s husband.
The seriously injured woman, identified as Shira Ish-Ran, was improving, The Times of Israel reported on Tuesday but “the condition of her infant son, who was delivered by emergency C-section late Sunday night after the attack, continued to deteriorate.”
Soldiers raided the offices of the Palestinian news agency WAFA in Ramallah on Monday, detaining employees and firing tear gas at photographers to prevent them from taking pictures. The soldiers also confiscated security camera footage.
Israeli forces also arrested Quds Radio correspondent and Quds News Network writer Sameh Manasra in Izbat al-Jarad village near Tulkarm on Monday.
“Israeli authorities must halt their attacks against Palestinian media and publicly disclose information about WAFA’s raid and journalist Sameh Manasra’s detention,” Sherif Mansour of the Committee to Protect Journalists stated.
“Those who threaten and scare journalists who are doing merely their job must be held accountable.”