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56th Great Return March Protest: Israeli Occupying Force (IOF) Injures 110 Palestinians, including 39 Children, four Medical Personnel, and one Journalist

Wednesday, 01 May 2019 19:07 Date: 1 May 2019
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56th Great Return March Protest: Israeli Occupying Force (IOF) Injures 110 Palestinians, including 39 Children, four Medical Personnel, and one Journalist

For the 56th consecutive week, Palestinians in Gaza continue to take part in the weekly Great Return March protest, demanding an end to Israel's unlawful prolonged occupation, the 11-year closure on the Gaza Strip and denial of their right as refugees to return. On Friday, 26 April 2019, between 3:00 - 7:00 p.m., thousands of Palestinians, of all age groups, including entire families, gathered in the five return camps along the fence to take part in the Great Return March's 56th protest. The protestors chanted national songs and slogans and raised Palestinian flags. Despite their full committment to peaceful protest, with very limited exceptions, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) have responded with unnecessary and excessive use of force injuring 110 Palestinians, including 39 children, 4 paramedics and 1 journalist. Amongst those, 59 were injured by live ammunition and shrapnel.

Despite repeated calls by the international community to put an end to the IOF's use of unjustified, excessive and disproprotionate force, the targetting of unarmed peaceful protestors in high numbers reflects an intentional, systematic and deliberate policy, especially evident in the targeting of on-duty medical personnel in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.[1]

In the North Gaza Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors took part in the Great Return March in Abu Safiya, east of Jabaliya, including women and children. Their peaceful protest activities were met with excessive force by the IOF, injuring 31, including 12 children and one medic. Amongst those injured, 25 were injured by live ammunition and shrapnel, two by rubber-coated metal bullets and four by direct tear gas canister hits, including the medic.

In the Gaza Governorate, children, elderly, women and men chanted national songs and raised Palestinian flags during their protests in Malka, east of Gaza. The IOF responded by firing live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters injuring 13, including one child. Of the total number of injuries, seven were injured by live ammunition and shrapnel, three by rubber-coated metal bullets and three by direct tear gas canister hits.

In the Central Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors gathered in Al-Breij Refugee Camp to take part in the Great Return March weekly protest. The IOF injured 36, including 15 children and a medic. Injuries included, 14 cases of live ammunition and shrapnel injuries, three rubber-coated metal bullets injuries, and 19 injuries by direct tear gas canister hits, including one medic.

In the Khan Younis Governorate, hundreds of peaceful protestors gathered east of Khuza'a, east of Khan Younis. The IOF responded to their peaceful protests with excessive use of force and, as a result, nine Palestinians were injured, including two children and two paramedics. Amongst those, four were injured by live ammunition and shrapnel, three by direct tear gas canister hits, including one medic. A further two civilians were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, including one medic.

In the Rafah Governorate, peaceful protestors shouted national slogans and raised Palestinian flags during their protests in the Great Return March, east of Al-Shouka. The IOF injured 21 Palestinians, including nine children and one journalist. Of those, nine were injured by live ammunition and shrapnel, whereas 12 were injured by direct tear gas canister hits, including the journalist.

Across the five governorates, tens of gas inhalation cases were reported, most were treated by paramedics on the spot and some cases, required hospitalization.

[1] To see recommendations and calls by the international community:

Report of the detailed findings of the independent international Commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, UN Human Rights Council, A/HRC/40/CRP.2, 18.03.2019, available at: www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session40/Documents/A_HRC_40_74_CRP2.18March.pdf

And;

“Enough is Enough: 95 civil society organization call on the Human Rights Council to urgently launch a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ to investigate violence against protester in Palestine”, Al-Haq, 17.03.2018, available at:

www.alhaq.org/advocacy/topics/gaza/1252-enough-is-enough-95-civil-society-organizations-call-on-the-human-rights-council-to-urgently-launch-a-commission-of-inquiry-to-investigate-violence-against-protesters-in-palestine

For the 56th consecutive week, Palestinians in Gaza continue to take part in the weekly Great Return March protest, demanding an end to Israel’s unlawful prolonged occupation, the 11-year closure on the Gaza Strip and denial of their right as refugees to return.  On Friday, 26 April 2019, between 3:00 - 7:00 p.m., thousands of Palestinians, of all age groups, including entire families, gathered in the five return camps along the fence to take part in the Great Return March’s 56th protest. The protestors  chanted national songs and slogans and raised Palestinian flags. Despite their full committment to peaceful protest, with very limited exceptions, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) have responded with unnecessary and excessive use of force injuring 
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