[News] Gaza: Protesters Highlight Workers' Plight as Casualties Mount Due to Israeli Repression
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 4 19:01:29 EDT 2018
Gaza: Protesters Highlight Workers' Plight as Casualties Mount Due to
4 May 2018
*Palestinians* in *Gaza* held their sixth Friday protest as part of the
*Great March of Return*, which began on March 30 with the commemoration
of Palestinian Land Day
On Friday demonstrators highlighted the plight of Palestinian workers
and the unemployed in a demonstration labeled "Friday of Workers."
As in all previous weeks, Israeli occupation forces fired tear gas,
rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition at unarmed protesters injuring
According to the Ministry of Health, *Israeli forces* injured at least
350 protesters Friday, including 21 minors and three journalists. Three
of the injured persons are reported to be in serious condition.
The use of live ammunition by Israel’s army has been condemned by the
international community and human rights activists. However, in response
to the challenge to its *open-fire policy
Israeli officials have insisted that their response comply fully with
their army’s rules of engagement and international law arguing human
rights law is not applicable in a “state of war.”
Human rights groups have consistently rejected this argument.
As the world celebrated International Workers’ Day on May first, reports
emerged that at least 400,000 Palestinians are currently facing
unemployment, and 150,000 work under precarious conditions in Israel and
Jewish-only settlements within the West Bank.
The situation in Gaza, which has endured an over-a-decade-long blockade
is even worse. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics estimates
that almost 50 percent of the population in Gaza is unemployed and about
80 percent is dependent on foreign aid.
Gazan workers are affected by the blockade that prevents construction
materials from entering Gaza to reconstruct the Strip, which has been
bombed several times by Israeli warplanes. The blockade also affects
Gazan fisherman who risks being shot if they attempt to fish beyond the
six nautical miles Israel allows them to use. Furthermore, the
establishment of no-go zone near the border fence has effectively stolen
miles of arable and productive land from Gazan farmers.
According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, the number of Palestinians
killed by Israeli forces during demonstrations in Gaza reached 45 on
Thursday. No Israeli civilian or military forces have been killed or
The *Great March for Return
has rallied tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza who have set up
tents along the northern and eastern border with Israel in a symbolic
act to claim their human right as refugees to return to their homeland,
a right Israel has denied them for fear of losing its Jewish majority.
The march will last until May 15, when Palestinians will commemorate the
70th anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe. The day marks the date
700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from their towns and cities
after the creation of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948.
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