Seven Palestinians have been shot during the latest round of Israeli abuses at the Great March of Return, the injured including a child. There were 16 injuries in all.
Opening fire with live ammunition on Friday, Israeli forces attacked hundreds of demonstrating civilians at several locations at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip.
Firing from both armoured vehicles and from watchtowers down into the gathered citizens, the colonial forces used live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets, with those hit by live bullets treated both at the scene and a local hospital in Gaza.
The Great March of Return is designed to demand and raise awareness of the right for Palestinian refugees to return to the pre-1948 historical Palestine, to ensure the lifting of the deadly blockade against Gaza and protest the moving of the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Since the beginning of the protests on March 30, 2018, Israel has killed over 250 Palestinians and injured over 23,000. The dead include children, medical personnel and journalists. Many of the victims had suffered life-changing injuries.
In 2018, Doctors Without Borders called the Israeli response to the protests “inhuman and unacceptable”, with the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) stating that the type of ammunition that was being used by Israel was causing severe internal damage to the internal organs, muscle tissue and bones of the victims.
“Many of the wounds observed by doctors in Gaza are consistent with those caused by high-velocity Israeli-manufactured Tavor rifles using 5.56mm military ammunition. Other wounds bear the hallmarks of US-manufactured M24 Remington sniper rifles shooting 7.62mm hunting ammunition, which expand and mushroom inside the body. The nature of these injuries shows that Israeli soldiers are using high-velocity military weapons designed to cause maximum harm to Palestinian protesters who do not pose an imminent threat to them.”Amnesty International
Israel’s use of deadly force against protestors was condemned in a United Nations General Assembly resolution in June of 2018, with condemnation also coming from human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, Amnesty International and by officials from the U.N.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has said that “those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account”. The U.N. has also since stated that Israeli actions during the Great March of Return “may have constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity”, presenting a full 252-page report to the United Nations Human Rights Council in March of this year.