Israeli occupation forces injured more than 1,100 protesters on the sixth consecutive Friday of mass protests along Gaza’s eastern perimeter under the Great March of Return banner.
No fatalities were reported. Gaza’s health ministry said that nearly 100 were wounded by live fire. Three were reported to be critically injured.In addition to live fire, Israeli forces used rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas grenades against protesters, and fired tear gas at medical crews and journalists, the human rights group Al Mezan reported.
Forty Palestinians have been killed and almost 2,200 wounded by live fire during Great March of Return protests launched on 30 March, according to Al Mezan. Five of those killed were children and two were journalists.
Not a single Israeli has been reported injured as a result of the protests.
As they have in previous weeks, Israeli forces targeted medical field tents with tear gas, disrupting the work of paramedics.Five medical workers were injured during Friday’s protest, according to Al Mezan, as were five journalists.
This video shows journalists suffering from tear gas inhalation at a press workstation east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza:Photographer Sami Misran was shot in the shoulder with a rubber-coated bullet east of Bureij in central Gaza: Another journalist was wounded in the leg east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza: Journalist Mahmoud Badr was injured by tear gas east of Bureij: Journalist Abd al-Rahim al-Khatib was also injured by tear gas east of Khan Younis: Protesters used slingshots to fell two Israeli surveillance drones in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis and Rafah areas. The Israeli military confirmed that it lost the two drones.
This young man joined others in celebrating the capture of the drones. He affirmed that Palestinians would continue to protest for their rights and dignity up to and including 15 May – the day Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine:Palestinians broke into the Kerem Shalom checkpoint in southernmost Gaza, setting fire to infrastructure: Israeli military spokespersons tried to spin the breach of the checkpoint as an attack on humanitarian infrastructure, rather than a protest of the apparatus of siege and occupation: The European Union embassy in Tel Aviv quickly echoed the Israeli line about the breach of the checkpoint, tweeting that “we condemn it unreservedly.” By contrast, the EU has still not issued any condemnation of Israel’s deliberate shoot-to-maim-and-kill policy which includes ordering snipers to target children.
Israeli forces reportedly detained four Palestinians who crossed the Gaza boundary fence on Friday.
Palestinian rights groups have meanwhile sent new war crimes evidence to the International Criminal Court related to Israel’s use of lethal force against unarmed protesters in Gaza.
Last month the ICC’s chief prosecutor issued an unprecedented public warning that Israeli leaders could face trial for their violence against civilian protesters.
Many Palestinians injured during the protests will be left with permanent disabilities and “a number of patients have had unsalvageable limbs amputated,” according to Medical Aid for Palestinians.
“Meanwhile, Gaza’s medical teams are doing all they can to treat those wounded in the most difficult context of a decade-long closure and blockade,” the charity stated.
“Even before the current crisis began, hospitals were suffering chronic shortages of medicines, equipment, and even fuel to keep generators running and services open.”Last week Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said that the Great March of Return protests, which were planned to culminate with the 15 May Nakba Day commemoration, would extend through the month of Ramadan, which ends in mid-June.
The leadership of the Great March of Return protests called on Palestinians throughout Gaza, the West Bank and Israel to make 14 May “a date to prepare” for a Million Person March of Return.
Two-thirds of Gaza’s population of two million are refugees from the lands on which the state of Israel was declared in 1948. Israel has long prevented Palestinian refugees from returning to their lands and homes because they are not Jewish.
The planned march “will send a strong message to Donald Trump and others that the deal of the century will not pass, but will be trampled by the return of millions to the usurped homeland,” the leadership committee stated.
The Israeli-Palestinian “deal of the century” promised by Trump, the details of which have not yet been revealed to the public, is “purported to propose a demilitarized and barely sovereign Palestinian state,” according to information given by a Palestinian Authority official to The New Arab.
Eight Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli forces while protesting Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December.