On Friday 6 September 2019, the 73th week of the Great March of Return (GMR) protests, Israeli forces continued to use live fire and other violent means in policing unarmed protests. Two children were killed, and 93 people were injured, including 45 children, one woman, one paramedic and one journalist. Of the injured, 52 sustained wounds from live fire, while 17 were hit directly by tear gas canisters. Medical sources reported that another person was wounded critically.
The documentation by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights shows that on Friday:
- Khaled Al Reb’i, 14, a resident of Al Sheja’ya neighborhood in Gaza City, was shot in the abdomen with a bullet at the demonstration in east Gaza City. He was rushed to Al Shifa Hospital where he was pronounced dead 20 minutes after arrival.
- Ali Al Ashqar, 17, a resident of Jabaliya refugee camp, was shot in the left side of his neck with bullet at the demonstration in North Gaza district. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Indonesian Hospital.
- As’ad Abu Ghalwa, 30, a volunteer paramedic, was injured in the right leg with a plastic-coated steel bullet at the demonstration in Khan Younis district.
- Ahmed Al Hindi, 27, a photojournalist, was injured in the right arm with a plastic-coated steel bullet at the demonstration in east Gaza City.
Al Mezan’s documentation shows that from 30 March 2018, Israeli forces have killed 324 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Of the total fatalities, 211 were killed at the protests, including 46 children, two women, four paramedics, two journalists, and nine persons with disability. Another 18,085 persons have been wounded, including 4,483 children and 813 women. 9,080 of the wounded were injured by live fire, including 1,929 children and 177 women. In 264 shootings, 212 paramedics were wounded, 42 of them more than once. Also, in 247 shootings, 173 journalists were injured, 42 of them more than once. The Israeli forces continue to keep the bodies of 16 fatalities, including three minors.
Al Mezan condemns the continued use of excessive and other unlawful force by the Israeli forces, including sharpshooters, to police demonstrations. Al also expresses concern by the continued deliberate attacks on unarmed protesters, including children, persons with disability, paramedics and journalists— the last two categories being visible as such to Israeli forces. Al Mezan stresses that the rights to peaceful assembly and to free expression are fundamental rights and must be respected. Unarmed protesters not posing any serious or imminent threat to the Israeli forces must not be harmed.
Al Mezan calls on the international community to condemn all violations of international law and to promptly intervene to ensure the protection of civilians from unlawful attack in the context of the protests. The international community must end its silence on the aggravating human rights situation and condemn all violations of international law. Al Mezan also calls on the international community to take firm action to ensure accountability and justice for serious violations of international law.