[News] Israel has injured 24, 000 Gaza protesters - Some 180 Palestinians have been shot dead
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Nov 26 17:14:50 EST 2018
Israel has injured 24,000 Gaza protesters
Maureen Clare Murphy
<https://electronicintifada.net/people/maureen-clare-murphy> - 25
Palestinians have paid a great price for their call for life with
dignity during mass protests held along Gaza’s boundary with Israel over
the past eight months.
Some 180 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli occupation forces
and nearly 6,000 others injured by live fire during the Great March of
“The vast majority of casualties were unarmed, and were fatally shot
from a distance while in the Gaza Strip itself,” according to
a new report by the Israeli group B’Tselem, confirming previous findings
by other rights organizations.
“As a general rule, the protectively clad troops sniping at them from
other side of the fence were not in any real danger,” B’Tselem added.
In addition to injuries by live fire, 2,000 cases of injury by tear gas
inhalation have been recorded, along with hundreds of injuries by
rubber-coated metal bullets.
Injuries to 90 protesters – 17 of them children – have resulted in
amputation, nearly all of the lower limbs.
Altogether, a staggering 24,000 Palestinians
<https://whoinopt.exposure.co/gaza-waiting-for-treatment> have been
injured during the Great March of Return protests – more than one
percent of the territory’s population.
Around half of those injured were treated at field clinics at protest
sites. The rest were transferred to hospital for treatment.
“The mass influx of casualties has disrupted an already fragile health
system,” according to the World Health Organization. “In the hospitals,
trauma patients are prematurely discharged to make room for new patients.”
Hundreds of Palestinians require long-term limb reconstruction involving
multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, according to the
Shot in lower limbs
B’Tselem surveyed more than 400 protesters who were wounded by live
fire, including 63 children.
The vast majority – 85 percent – were shot in their lower limbs.
Some 40 percent were hit while they were in the immediate vicinity of
the Gaza-Israel boundary fence. Around a third were up to 150 meters
away from the fence. Just over 20 percent were more than 150 meters away
when they were shot.
Forty-one of the children surveyed said they were “injured while they
were watching the protest, waving a flag, photographing or filming the
protest, moving away from the protest, or treating the wounded,”
Nearly all of the protesters wounded by live fire surveyed by B’Tselem
require prolonged, medical treatment. More than half require
rehabilitation and physical therapy. Ten percent are permanently injured.
Being shot by occupation forces is only “the first chapter in a
prolonged ordeal,” according to B’Tselem.
“Even a superbly functioning healthcare system would be sorely tried
when faced with such a large number of casualties,” the group states.
“Yet in Gaza, even before the protests began, the healthcare system was
already on the brink of collapse.”
The dire state of Gaza’s healthcare system is a result of the 11-year
Israeli blockade at the center of the protests that have met with brutal
At the beginning of the month, Gaza’s central pharmacy “was completely
out of 226 essential drugs, and had only a one-month supply left of
another 241,” B’Tselem states.
Stocks of more than 250 types of medical disposables had been depleted.
“The blockade places restrictions on replacing worn-out, broken medical
equipment, on importing advanced medical equipment and drugs, and on
travel by physicians for professional training outside Gaza,” according
“In addition, Gaza’s intermittent power supply, again largely Israel’s
doing, also disrupts hospital functions.”
Israel meanwhile denies or delays permission to medical patients to
travel outside Gaza via Erez checkpoint for treatment unavailable in the
Others have been referred to hospitals in Egypt but cannot afford the
Gaza’s sole prosthetic limbs workshop “can provide only the most basic
prosthetic legs with limited range of motion,” according to
a recent media report.
The cost of going abroad for prosthetic limbs is prohibitive in
impoverished Gaza where the blockade has pushed unemployment rates to
over 50 percent.
In addition to physical harm, Israel’s crackdown on the protests has
increased symptoms of post-traumatic stress
in children who find themselves reliving trauma from previous military
assaults on Gaza.
“The high number of casualties at the protests is not an unavoidable
fact of life,” B’Tselem states.
“It is the result of a deliberate policy by the Israeli security
“Manifestly unlawful” open fire orders “permit the use of live fire
against unarmed protestors who pose no danger to anyone and are on the
other side of the fence, inside the Gaza Strip.”
Israeli forces have shot bystanders standing hundreds of meters away
while “doing nothing to jeopardize the troops,” as stated by B’Tselem.
These open fire orders – kept secret by the state – have been
rubber-stamped by Israel’s high court
A lower court recently ruled <http://mezan.org/en/post/23316> that
Palestinians in Gaza are not entitled to seek compensation for damages
from Israel because the state has declared the territory an “enemy entity.”
“Banned from redress”
That was the argument made by the court as it rejected a case filed on
behalf of a boy in Gaza who was left quadriplegic after Israeli forces
opened fire on him in November 2014.
With the court upholding a 2012 law barring residents of an “enemy
entity” from receiving compensation, all Palestinians in Gaza “are now
banned from redress and remedy in Israel, regardless of the
circumstances and the severity of the injury or damages claimed,”
according to the rights groups Al Mezan and Adalah.
The new law “introduced criteria that are nearly impossible to meet for
victims from Gaza,” leaving Palestinians in Gaza who suffered injury or
damage during military operations ineligible to seek compensation. A
narrow window of time in which Gaza residents initiate claims in Israel
– at significant financial cost – and other restraints effectively bar
anyone there from seeking justice.
But even in the case of the child represented by Adalah and Al Mezan,
“who was shot in the absence of military activity and his family
complied with all of the … stringent criteria,” the state argued that
the boy was ineligible for compensation with “the simple justification
that he is a resident of Gaza.”
According to the rights groups, “With this message, Israel declared that
it absolves itself from the responsibilities, as a state, to
investigate, deter, and take responsibility for violations by its armed
and security forces.”
The ruling “grants comprehensive immunity to the Israeli military and
the state for illegal, reprehensible, and even criminal actions” in the
occupied West Bank and Gaza.
With no way to fulfill their right to effective legal remedy from
Israel, the occupying power, “the only legal options currently available
to Palestinians in Gaza are limited to international judicial
mechanisms,” Adalah and Al Mezan state.
The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor has warned
Israeli leaders that the shooting of unarmed Palestinians along the Gaza
boundary could be considered a crime under international law within the
Palestinian and international nongovernmental organizations have called
on <http://mezan.org/en/post/23220> the International Criminal Court to
“urgently” open an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.
The situation in Palestine has been under preliminary examination by the
prosecutor’s office since 2015.
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