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Updates from the 47th Great Return March Protests

Saturday, 16 February 2019 22:22 Date: 16 February 2019
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Updates from the 47th Great Return March ProtestsOn Friday, 15 February 2019, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) continued to use excessive force against Palestinian peaceful protesters along the Gaza fence, injuring 67, including 19 children, two paramedics and one journalist. This Friday’s protests saw a limited number of Palestinians who threw stones or Molotov cocktails or ignited car tires. The protests started at approximately 2:30 pm and lasted until about 5:30 pm of the same day, with thousands of Palestinians, including women and children, arriving at various areas along the Gaza fence to wave flags and chant national slogans, calling for their right to return and an end to Israel’s prolonged occupation and closure.

In the North Gaza Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors, including children, participated in the Return March protests at the Abu Safiya Hill near the fence. The IOF fired gas canisters directly at the protestors injuring five, including four children and one volunteer paramedic who was hit by the canister in the abdomen. In the Gaza Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors participated in the Return March protests in Malaka, east of Gaza City. The IOF fired live bullets, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters at the crowds, injuring 27 protestors. Of those 27, six were children and one journalist. Sixteen of the 27 were shot with live bullets, while nine others were injured with rubber bullets, and two were hit directly with tear gas canisters, including a freelance journalist who was hit in the hand by the canister. In the Central Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors gathered near Al-Breij Refugee Camp. The IOF injured eight protestors, including three children. Of the eight injured, six were injured by live bullets, including a girl who was injured by bullet shrapnel in the head and another child who was hit with a live bullet in the chest and was in critical condition. Two others were directly hit by gas canisters.

In the Khan Younis Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors participated in the Return March protests near the fence in Khuza'a. Ten protestors were injured, including one child. Four were injured by live fire and bullet shrapnel, and six others by direct gas canister hits to various parts of the body. In the Rafah Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors gathered to participate in the Return March protests in Al-Shawka, east of Rafah. Seventeen protestors were injured, including five children and one volunteer medic. Of the 17, nine were wounded by live fire and shrapnel (with one seriously injured in the abdomen). Eight others were hit by gas canisters, including the volunteer medic who was shot in the leg. Dozens of other protestors across the Gaza strip suffered gas inhalation and were treated by paramedics in the field, some of whom were transferred to hospitals in the Strip.

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