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Great Return March: Four Killed, including a Child, and 295 Injured in 11th Week of Peaceful Protests

Sunday, 10 June 2018 12:55
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Palestinians participate in 11th Great Return March protests, east of Gaza City – Al-Haq (c) 2018. On Friday, 8 June 2018, the Great Return March entered its 11th week, with Palestinians seeking to end Israel’s unlawful closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has entered its 11th year. The protests also seek Palestinian refugees’ right of return to the their homes and property in their cities and towns of origin, from which they were expelled 70 years ago. The Israeli occupying forces, despite overwhelming international condemnation, continued to use excessive, disproportionate, and unnecessary force against unarmed Palestinian protesters. On Friday, four Palestinians were killed, including a child, and 295 more were injured, including 142 injured by live ammunition. Amongst the injured were 42 children, 15 women, three journalists, and four paramedics, as a result of the Israeli occupying forces’ use of live ammunition, rubber bullets, and the firing of gas canisters at protesters. The four Palestinians who were killed on Friday, 8 June 2018, during the 11th Great Return March protests are:

  1. Yousef Salim Khalil Al-Fasih, 28, shot with live ammunition east of Gaza City;
  2. Imad Nabil Ali Abu Darabi, 20, shot in the head with live ammunition east of Jabaliya;
  3. Ziyad Jadallah Abd Al-Qader Al-Barim, 28, shot in the abdomen with live ammunition east of Khan Younis;
  4. Al-Haitham Muhammad Khalil Al-Jamal, 14, shot with live ammunition in the abdomen east of Rafah.

Killing of four Palestinians, including a Child

At approximately 3:00 pm, on Friday, 8 June 2018, the Israeli occupying forces shot Yousef Salim Khalil Al-Fasih, 28, a resident of Al-Shati refugee camp, while he was participating in the peaceful Great Return March protests at about 150 metres from the barbed wire fence in the Malka area, east of Gaza City. Yousef was transferred to Al-Shifa Hospital for treatment, where he underwent surgery and was pronounced dead at about 7:30 pm.

East of Jabaliya, the Israeli occupying forces shot Imad Nabil Ali Abu Darabi, 20, a resident of Beit Lahia, in the head at approximately 3:45 pm, while he was participating in the Great Return March at a distance of approximately 100 meters from the barbed wire fence in the area of Abu Safiya hill. Imad was taken to the Indonesian Hospital for treatment and then transferred to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza due to the severity of his injury. There, Imad underwent surgery, and remained in the operating room until doctors pronounced his death at around 6:15 pm.

East of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, 28-year-old Ziyad Jadallah Abd Al-Qader Al-Barim was shot in the abdomen by the Israeli occupying forces at approximately 5:30 pm, during his participation in the Great Return March protests at a distance of about 150 metres from the barbed wire fence. Ziyad was taken to Nasser Hospital for treatment, where doctors pronounced his death at about 6:00 pm.

Palestinians participate in 11th week of protests as part of the Great Return March, east of Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, on 8 June 2018 – Al-Haq (c) 2018.

East of Rafah, the 14-year-old child Al-Haitham Muhammad Khalil Al-Jamal, born 12 July 2003, was injured in the abdomen by the Israeli occupying forces at approximately 3:30 pm, while protesting some 200 metres from the barbed wire fence. Al-Haitham was taken to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital for treatment then transferred to the European Hospital in Khan Younis due to the severity of his condition, where his death was pronounced at about 6:40 pm.


Injury of 295 Palestinians, including 142 injured by live ammunition

Paramedics transport injured protesters east of Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, on 8 June 2018, during the 11th Great Return March protests – Al-Haq (c) 2018.

Continuing their peaceful demonstrations for the right to return, thousands of Palestinians, including women, children, and the elderly, flowed into return camps set up since 30 March 2018 in each of the eastern areas of the Gaza Strip. They raised Palestinian flags and chanted national slogans, while some protesters lit tires near the barbed wire fence, posing no danger or imminent threat to the hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers, positioned behind sand hills elevated above ground level beyond the eastern fence running along the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, the Israeli occupying forces responded with excessive force, including lethal force, shooting live and rubber bullets at unarmed protesters. The Israeli occupying forces also shot tear gas canisters at the protesters, injuring 93 Palestinians by direct gas canister hits east of Khan Younis, 28 east of Jabaliya, ten east of Rafah, seven east of Gaza City, and five east of Al-Breij refugee camp.

Three journalists and four paramedics were also wounded by the Israeli occupying forces on 8 June 2018. In Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, Ismail Abu Omar, a correspondent for Sawt Al-Aqsa radio, was injured in the back by a gas canister, and freelance journalist Amjad Taysir Mahmoud Al-Raqab, 23, was injured in his foot by a gas canister. In the North Gaza Governorate, Muhammad Abd Al-Razeq Abdallah Al-Baba, 49, a journalist for the French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), was shot in his right leg. Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) paramedic Rami Khamis Musa Al-Haj Ali, 35, was shot in his right hand while he was tending to injured protesters near the barbed wire fence in the Abu Safiya hill area, east of Jabaliya. In the same area, volunteer paramedic Khalid Abd Al-Fattah Al-Yazji, 24, was injured in his right hand by a gas canister, while transporting injured protesters. The Israeli occupying forces also damaged the windshield of a PRCS ambulance in Khan Younis with a gas canister.

In the early morning hours of 8 June, at approximately 4:30 am, Israeli drones had dropped gas bombs on one the return camp east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, setting fire to a tent and causing fire to spread throughout the camp.

Al-Haq calls for urgent international action and accountability

In response to another week of Israeli suppression of the peaceful Great Return March protests, and the killing and injury of unarmed Palestinians, the United Nations (UN) is set to hold an emergency General Assembly meeting on Wednesday, 13 June 2018, to vote on a resolution to protect Palestinian civilians and condemn Israel’s excessive use of force. Since the Great Return March protests began on 30 March 2018, the Israeli occupying forces have killed 135 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and injured thousands more.

Al-Haq strongly condemns Israel’s use of unnecessary, excessive and disproportionate force against Palestinian protesters in Gaza and calls on Member States of the UN General Assembly, in addition to supporting Wednesday’s resolution, to trigger General Assembly resolution 377 A(V) and collectively agree to take all necessary means to bring to an end Israel’s violations of international law, its unlawful closure of the Gaza Strip, and its prolonged occupation of the Palestinian territory at large.

Additionally, Al-Haq calls for the international community to impose sanctions on Israel until its brings to an end its 51-year occupation of the Palestinian territory and fulfils the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, which includes their right to permanent sovereignty over natural wealth and resources, and the realisation of the right of return of Palestinian refugees, 70 years on.

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