[News] Nearly 300 Palestinians killed, 29,000 injured in 2018

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 28 10:38:13 EST 2018


  Nearly 300 Palestinians killed, 29,000 injured in 2018

Maureen Clare Murphy 
<https://electronicintifada.net/people/maureen-clare-murphy> - 27 
December 2018


Israeli occupation forces and settlers have killed 295 Palestinians in 
the West Bank and Gaza since the beginning of the year, according to 
a UN monitoring group.

Fourteen Israelis were killed by Palestinians during the same period, in 
addition to a baby who died days after his premature birth following the 
shooting and critical injury of his mother.

More than 29,000 Palestinians were injured during 2018 – the highest 
number of injuries in a single year since the UN Office for the 
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs began collecting data in 2005.

Nearly 60 of those Palestinians killed and 7,000 of those injured were 

Twenty-eight members of armed groups were among the fatalities, as were 
15 perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis in 
the West Bank, according to OCHA.

More than 60 percent of the fatalities and nearly 80 percent of the 
injuries took place in the context of the Great March of Return 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/great-march-return> – mass protests 
held regularly along Gaza’s eastern and northern perimeter since 30 March.

According to Gaza’s health ministry, some 14,000 people were 
hospitalized for injuries sustained during the protests, while more than 
12,000 were treated at field clinics.

More than 6,000 Palestinians were injured by live ammunition during the 
Great March of Return.

The demonstrations call for an end to Israel’s blockade 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/gaza-siege> on the territory, now 
in its 11th year, and demand Palestinian refugees’ right to return to 
the lands from which their families were expelled during, before and 
after Israel’s founding in 1948.

    Deadly force

Israel has used deadly force against unarmed protesters during those 
demonstrations, provoking the condemnation of UN human rights officials 
and an unprecedented warning 
from the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

But in the absence of meaningful accountability, and with the blessing 
of its highest court 
Israel continues to threaten Palestinians with violence if they approach 
the fence along Gaza’s eastern boundary.

On Thursday, COGAT, the bureaucratic arm of Israel’s military 
occupation, pulled back its curtain of humanitarian propaganda 
to reveal its true face of oppression.

COGAT published a video 
<https://twitter.com/cogatonline/status/1078256647896813568> on Twitter 
in which an Israeli colonel warns Palestinians in Gaza not to approach 
or damage the boundary fence, harm Israeli soldiers or “violate Israel’s 
sovereignty.” Otherwise, Palestinians “will be answered with a 
determined response” by Israeli occupation forces.

That “determined response” will likely mean lost lives and badly damaged 
bodies, judging by Israel’s past behavior.

“Israel’s shocking – and often lethal – use of force against protesters 
has resulted in the deaths of scores of Palestinians, and thousands have 
been injured by live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas,” Medical 
Aid for Palestinians stated 
earlier this month.

“Thousands of patients have sustained gunshot injuries, mainly to the 
limbs, and an estimated 1,500 people have devastating, disabling wounds 
that need specialist limb reconstruction treatment and long-term 
rehabilitation. That number continues to rise every week.”

According to 
the World Health Organization, 111 amputations – 20 involving children – 
have taken place resulting from injuries sustained during the 
demonstrations. Nineteen people have been paralyzed due to spinal cord 
injuries, and six people have permanent vision loss.

Three health workers were killed by Israeli forces and another 546 
injured. More than 80 ambulances have been damaged, in addition to other 

Gaza’s overburdened healthcare system, in addition to coping with the 
staggering number of protest casualties, has meanwhile had to contend 
with zero stocks of essential drugs 
and supplies resulting from Israel’s siege.

During the year hospitals reduced operations as as they ran out of fuel 
to run emergency generators 
during electricity-starved Gaza’s frequent blackouts.

    “Crossed red lines”

Four Palestinians, including a 16-year-old child and a disabled man 
were fatally injured during last Friday’s Great March of Return protests.

Palestinian factions in Gaza said 
that Israel “crossed red lines” by killing people who were standing 300 
to 600 meters from the boundary last week.

Israeli soldiers operate under an apparent shoot-to-kill policy 
in Gaza’s boundary areas. The exact range of the zone is undeclared but 
is generally understood to be within 300 meters of the Gaza-Israel boundary.

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has 
that Israeli forces, “in policing the Gaza fence,” may only “resort to 
lethal force in cases of extreme necessity, as a last resort in response 
to an imminent threat of death or risk of serious injury.”

Rights groups told the UN Human Rights Council in September that there 
was no evidence that any protester killed by Israel was armed 

Amnesty International has condemned 
Israel’s “apparently deliberate attempts to kill and maim” Gaza protesters.

Soldiers use “high-velocity military weapons designed to cause maximum 
harm to Palestinian protesters who do not pose an imminent threat to them.”

In a joint statement, Palestinian factions said 
that Israel’s behavior during this Friday’s protests will prove a “test 
for the occupation and its bad intentions. If the occupation continues 
using excessive and disproportionate violence against the protesters, 
the Palestinian resistance will respond to the Israeli atrocious acts.”

The groups added: “Not money, nor electricity and water, will deter the 
factions from carrying out their duties.”

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