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Update from the 50th Great Return March Protests

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 09:00 Date: 12 March 2019
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Al-‘Awda return camp, east of Jabaliya – Al-Haq © 8 March 2019On Friday, 8 March 2019, for the 50th consecutive week, thousands of Palestinians continued to protest along the Gaza fence. The protests took place between 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm, and were spread across the five different return camps, along the eastern fence areas of the Strip. The protest also commemorated International Women’s Day, during which a significant number of women participated. The protesters waved Palestinian flags and chanted national slogans, while dozens of others set fire to a few car tires and threw stones at the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF), who were located behind the fence and on sand hills. As usual, the IOF fired live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters at the protestors who in no way posed any threat to the lives of soldiers. During the 50th Great Return March protest, the IOF killed one Palestinian and wounded 134, including 32 children. Of the 134 injured, 76 protesters were wounded by live ammunition. Three journalists and three paramedics were also injured.

Killing

On Friday, 8 March 2019, at approximately 5:30 pm, Tamer Khaled 'Arafat, 23, was shot with a live bullet in the head while participating in the March of Return protest, east of Rafah. Tamer was about 150 metres away from the fence when he was shot by the IOF. At the time, Tamer was transferred to the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis in a very critical condition. Tamer was pronounced dead at about 6:30 pm.

Injuries

In the North Gaza Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors, including women and children, gathered in Abu Safiya Hill, east of Jabaliya. The IOF, who were behind the fence, injured 15 protesters, including seven children. Among the injured, four were shot with live ammunition, including one child. In addition, eight were directly hit with gas canisters, including five children, whereas two other children were shot with rubber bullets, and tens of other protestors suffered suffocation from tear gas inhalation.

In the Gaza Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors gathered in Malka, east of Gaza City. The IOF fired lived bullets and tear gas at the protestors, injuring 59, including five children. Of the 59, 30 were injured with live ammunition and bullet shrapnel, whereas 19 others were directly hit with tear gas canisters in different parts of the body, and 10 others were hit with rubber coated bullets. Tens of other protestors were treated for tear gas inhalation.

In the Central Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors, including women and children, gathered near the fence, east of Al-Breij Refugee Camp. The IOF injured 23 protestors, including nine children and a photojournalist. Of those injured, 20 were wounded by live bullets and bullet shrapnel, and three others were injured by tear gas canisters. Tens of others were treated for tear gas inhalation at the site.

In the Khan Younis Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors, including women and children, gathered near the fence in Khuza'a, east of Khan Younis. Twenty protestors, including six children, three paramedics and two journalists, were injured. Eleven were shot with live ammunition, while nine others were hit by tear gas canisters. Tens of other protestors were treated for tear gas inhalation at the site.

In the Rafah Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors gathered at the eastern fence of Rafah city. The IOF targeted protestors with live ammunition and tear gas canisters, killing one Palestinian, Tamer Khaled 'Arafat, and injuring 17 others, including five children. Of those injured, 11 were wounded by live bullets and bullet shrapnel, including four serious injuries. Others were hit by tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.

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