Israeli sniper kills Gaza woman in first fatality of 2019

A woman on a stretcher sticks her tongue out as a woman holding a spray bottle tends to her

An injured protester east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on 11 January.

Ashraf Amra APA images

A woman shot during protests in the occupied Gaza Strip on Friday is the first Palestinian fatality at the hands of Israeli occupation forces in 2019. A Palestinian man was shot and seriously wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank the same day.

Amal al-Taramsi, 44, died after she was shot in the head by live fire during Great March of Return protests east of Gaza City. She was 200 meters away from the boundary fence at the time of her injury, according to the Gaza-based human rights group Al Mezan.

Al-Taramsi is the third female to be killed during the protest series that was launched on 30 March last year. The other two female fatalities were medic Razan al-Najjar and 14-year-old Wesal al-Sheikh Khalil.

More than 180 Palestinians have been killed in the context of Great March of Return protests held along Gaza’s eastern and northern boundary.

Israeli forces also aimed tear gas canisters at the bodies of Palestinians during Friday’s protests, injuring 68 people with them, according to Al Mezan.

Paramedic, journalists targeted

Volunteer paramedic Mustafa al-Sinwar, 22, was seriously injured when he was hit in the neck with a gas canister while on duty during protests east of Khan Younis in the south of Gaza.

Husni Salah, 25, a photojournalist working for AFP news agency, was hit directly in the face with a gas canister while covering protests along the eastern boundary of central Gaza.

Another journalist, Hussein Karsou, 44, was also hit in the face with a gas canister east of Gaza City.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were injured during Friday’s protests. Graphic video shows one person said to be seriously injured after being shot in the head.

Gaza’s health ministry has said that some 14,000 persons have been hospitalized for injuries sustained during the Great March of Return demonstrations since their launch.

Protesters are calling for an end to Israel’s siege on the territory while demanding that Palestinian refugees be able to exercise their right to return to the lands from which their families were expelled around the time of Israel’s founding in 1948.

Two-thirds of Gaza’s more than two million residents are refugees, many originally hailing from lands just beyond the Israel boundary fence.

A man holds a phone while gesturing with his other hand palm up

An Israeli settler displays an image of Ghazi Skafi being evacuated by Israeli forces on his phone after Skafi was shot and injured in Kiryat Arba settlement on 11 January.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian man was shot by an Israeli civilian and soldiers.

The Israeli military claimed that Ghazi Skafi, 35, was attempting to stab soldiers at a military outpost in the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron.

Video shows the man being shot twice, first by a man in civilian clothes and then by a soldier in uniform:

“Kill him,” an unseen man says in English in the video.

Spectators are also heard stating “God is good, God is good” and “Burn in hell you little bitch” in North American-accented English.

The below video shows Skafi lying on the street with a blanket on top of him. The camera pans to the right and shows what appears to be a small knife on the ground.

Skafi was being treated at hospital for wounds to the abdomen and legs, according to media reports.

Last year, Israeli forces and armed civilians killed 15 Palestinian perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis in the West Bank.

Ramallah raids

Israeli forces raided Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and the adjacent town of al-Bireh, five consecutive days this week.

The raids took place in the context of a manhunt for a Palestinian who opened fire at a bus carrying Israeli settlers last week, injuring one.

Occupation forces stormed businesses and confiscated security camera footage.

A Ramallah resident took to Twitter to describe how the raids affected her family life:

Palestinian youth confronted Israeli occupation forces during the raids:
Earlier in the week, Israeli forces arrested Assem Barghouti, who Israel accuses of carrying out a shooting attack that fatally injured two soldiers in the West Bank last month.

He is also accused by Israel of involvement in another West Bank shooting in December in which a pregnant Israeli woman was critically injured. Her baby, delivered prematurely, died a few days after his induced birth.

Israel has fingered Saleh Barghouti, Assem’s brother, as the gunman who carried out that attack.

Last month the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq made an urgent appeal to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances concerning Saleh Barghouti’s case.

According to Al-Haq’s documentation, including witness testimony, Barghouti was apprehended alive on 12 December. Several hours after his disappearance, Israeli media reported that Barghouti had been killed by Yamam, a special unit of Israel’s Border Police.


Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.