Child among four killed by Israeli forces in Gaza

Palestinians rally in al-Bureij, near the boundary with Israel, in the occupied Gaza Strip, 8 June. 

Mahmoud Khattab APA images

Israeli occupation forces killed four Palestinians, including a child, and injured hundreds more on the 11th consecutive Friday of Great March of Return rallies in Gaza.

At least four others remained in critical condition on Friday night, according to the health ministry.

This Friday, as they have before, Israeli forces fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas at Palestinians gathered in areas near Gaza’s eastern boundary with Israel to demand an end to the Israeli siege of the territory and the right of return to lands from which they were expelled.

Israeli forces injured almost 300 people, more than 130 with live ammunition, according to human rights group Al Mezan.

Haitham Muhammad Khalil al-Jamal, 14, was fatally shot in the stomach east of his hometown of Rafah in southern Gaza and later died of his injuries in a local hospital.

He is the 15th child killed by Israeli occupation forces during the protests in Gaza since they began on 30 March.

In that period, Israeli forces have killed more than 130 Palestinians, including over 100 during protests. Almost 4,000 have been injured with live ammunition.

East of Gaza City, Israeli forces shot 28-year-old Yousef Salim Khalil al-Fasih in the pelvis.

Al-Fasih, who lived in Gaza City, died of his injuries at al-Shifa hospital. A photo of him circulated following his death:

Imad Nabil Ali Abu Darabi, 20, from the town of Beit Lahiya, was fatally shot in the head by Israeli snipers in northern Gaza.

A photo circulated by local media showed rescuers trying to save his life:

Israeli forces shot Ziad Jadallah Abd al-Qadir al-Brim, 27, east of his hometown of Khan Younis.

Efforts to save his life were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at Nasser hospital.

An image posted by Palestinian media showed earlier efforts to save al-Brim’s life in a field hospital:

Palestinian media shared images of al-Brim following the announcement of his death:
Israeli forces fired scores of tear gas grenades at Palestinians:
One protester was hit by a tear gas canister in his mouth:
Dozens of children were reported injured on Friday:
In recent weeks, Israel has faced widespread condemnation from human rights groups and UN officials for its deliberate targeting of Palestinians who present no conceivable danger to heavily armed forces in fortified positions hundreds of meters away.

And yet despite warnings from the International Criminal Court about this practice, Israel has continued to deploy snipers with shoot-to-kill-and-maim orders against civilians.

This video filmed Friday shows the moment a Palestinian protester was shot by an Israeli sniper when he presented no apparent danger to anyone.

At one point, Palestinians celebrated ecstatically as they apparently brought down an Israeli drone using a fishing net attached to a kite:
On Monday, Israeli forces fired on a group of young men near the boundary fence east of Khan Younis, hitting 30-year-old Ramzi Muhammad Salim al-Najjar in the head.

According to Al Mezan, Israeli forces announced that they had detained al-Najjar who was still alive. But the following day, the Red Cross informed his family that he had died of his injuries.

Targeting journalists and medics

Photojournalist Muhammad Abdel Razaq al-Baba, 49, of the French news agency AFP was shot in the leg by an Israeli sniper as he covered events in northern Gaza, according to Al Mezan.

He was among five journalists injured on Friday, the health ministry said.

Local media reported that journalist Shirin Saloul was injured by Israeli forces while she was covering protests east of al-Bureij:

Since the start of the protests, Israeli forces have fatally shot two journalists, Yaser Murtaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein, and injured dozens more.

Reporters Without Borders has urged the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel’s targeting of journalists in Gaza as war crimes.

Israeli forces have also continued to target health workers.

Volunteer paramedic Khaled Abd al-Fattah al-Yazji, 24, was injured by a tear gas canister that hit his hand as he was helping transport the wounded east of Gaza City.

Another paramedic, Rami Khamis Ali, 42, was shot in the hand with a live bullet.

Manar al-Najjar, 22, another volunteer paramedic, was wounded by shrapnel from a live bullet in her left hand while she was working in an ambulance.

One paramedic discovered her husband among the injured as she was treating wounded protesters:

Israeli gas grenades also damaged an ambulance, according to Al Mezan.

Since 30 March, Israeli forces have killed two Palestinian paramedics, Razan al-Najjar and Mousa Jaber Abu Hassanein, and injured dozens more.

In memory of slain paramedic

Razan al-Najjar, who was fatally shot by Israeli snipers on 1 June while she was attending to injured protesters, was remembered a week after her killing.

In a poignant act, al-Najjar’s mother – at one point donning her daughter’s bloodstained vest – helped treat injured protesters on Friday.

“I am here to continue Razan’s message,” her mother told Quds News Network:
“Razan’s message is very clear. This is a peaceful protest and her work was humanitarian and voluntary.”

One of al-Najjar’s colleagues was pictured working on Friday with an image of her printed on his uniform:

Protesters also flew kites carrying images of al-Najjar and other Palestinians who had been killed by Israeli forces:
This week, the Israeli army published a video from an interview with al-Najjar deceptively edited to make it appear she admitted to being a “human shield” for Hamas.

The Israeli propaganda video claimed that al-Najjar was a pawn “incited by Hamas to give up her life for their goals.”

But in the original interview with the TV channel Al Mayadeen, al-Najjar actually said: “I am the medic Razan al-Najjar, I’m here on the frontlines, a human shield to protect and save the injured.”
She added, “No one encouraged me to do this, I encouraged myself alone and I wanted to venture and try to save the injured.”

Israel’s deceptive editing of the video in an attempt to smear al-Najjar and retroactively justify her killing drew widespread criticism.

Israel’s sectarian incitement

Israel continues to push the narrative that its weekly massacres of unarmed protesters are necessary for “self-defense” from Hamas – but now with an explicitly sectarian twist.

The Israeli military dropped leaflets on Gaza on Thursday warning residents against approaching or crossing the Gaza-Israel boundary fence.

The leaflet urged residents “not to let Hamas use you to serve its narrow interests.”

It claimed that behind Hamas “stands Shia Iran, whose goal is to inflame the region for the sake of its religious and sectarian interests.”

Israel pressed this sectarian agitation even more blatantly in a video from its Arabic-language military spokesperson Avichay Adraee:

Quds Day

Many Muslims around the world mark the last Friday in Ramadan as International Quds Day, to express support for Palestinians and oppose Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem.

People rallied in cities around the world including Islamabad, Tehran and Sanaa:

Ali Abunimah contributed research.


Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.