[News] On 55th Friday of Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, Israeli Forces Wound 100 Civilians, including 23 Children, 5 Women, 4 Paramedics, and 4 Journalists

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Apr 22 11:57:30 EDT 2019


https://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=12359


  On 55th Friday of Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, Israeli
  Forces Wound 100 Civilians, including 23 Children, 5 Women, 4
  Paramedics, and 4 Journalists

April 19, 2019
------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Friday, 19 April 2019, in excessive use of force against peaceful 
protesters on the 55^th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking 
the Siege, Israeli forces wounded 100 civilians, including 23 children, 
5 women, 4 paramedics, and 4 journalists, in the eastern Gaza Strip.  
Two of those wounded sustained serious wounds.

According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, the Israeli forces who 
stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with 
Israel continued to use excessive force against the protesters by firing 
bullets and tear gas canisters at them.  As a result, dozens of the 
protesters were hit with bullets and teargas canisters without posing 
any imminent threat or danger to the life of soldiers.

During this week, Israeli forces have escalated their attacks against 
the medical personnel in the field, wounding 4 members of them and 
targeting an ambulance belonging to the Palestine Red Crescent Society 
(PRCS) in eastern Khan Younis with a teargas canister directly while in 
field and evacuating those wounded.  This indicates that there is an 
Israeli systematic policy to target the medical personnel and obstruct 
their humanitarian work that is guaranteed under the rules of the 
international humanitarian law.

On Friday, 19 April 2019, the incidents were as follows:

At approximately 16:00, thousands of civilians, including women, 
children and entire families, started swarming to the five encampments 
established by the Supreme National Authority of Great March of Return 
and Breaking the Siege adjacent to the border fence with Israel in 
eastern Gaza Strip cities.

Hundreds of protesters, including children and women,  gathered adjacent 
to the border fence with Israel in front of each encampment and its 
vicinity tens  and hundreds of meters away from the fence. The 
protesters chanted slogans, raised flags, and in very limited incidents 
attempted to approach the border fence and throw stones at the Israeli 
forces.

Although the protesters gathered in areas open to the Israeli snipers 
stationed on the top of the sand berms and military watchtowers and 
inside and behind the military jeeps, the Israeli forces fired live and 
rubber bullets in addition to a barrage of tear gas canisters. The 
Israeli shooting, which continued at around 19:00, resulted in the 
injury of 100 civilians, including 23 children, 5 women, 4 paramedics, 
and 4 journalists. Thirty-three of those wounded were hit with live 
bullets and shrapnel, 42 were directly hit with tear gas canisters and 
13 were hit with rubber bullets. In addition, dozens of civilians 
suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures due to tear gas canisters that 
were fired by the Israeli forces from the military jeeps and riffles in 
the eastern Gaza Strip.

The following table shows the number of civilian casualties due to the 
Israeli forces’ suppression of the Great March of Return since its 
beginning on 30 March:

	Killed 	Wounded
*Total* 	203 	12161
*Children* 	44 	2351
*Women* 	2 	367
*Journalists* 	2 	198
*Medical personnel* 	3 	194
*Persons with disabilities* 	8 	Undefined
*_Note:_*

Among those wounded, 543 are in serious condition and 137 had their 
lower or upper limbs amputated; 123 lower-limb amputations, 14 
upper-limb amputations, and 25 children had their limbs amputated 
according to the Ministry of Health.  The number of those wounded only 
include those wounded with live bullets and directly hit with tear gas 
canisters, as there have been thousand others who suffered tear gas 
inhalation and sustained bruises.

PCHR reiterates Palestinians’ right to peaceful assembly to confront 
Israel and its forces’ denial of the legitimate and inalienable rights 
of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination, 
right to return and right to end the occupation of the Palestinian 
territory.

PCHR stresses that the Israeli forces should stop using excessive force 
and respond to the legitimate demands of the demonstrators, particularly 
lifting the closure which is the real solution to end the humanitarian 
crisis in the Gaza Strip.

PCHR reiterates the reported published in February by the UN Commission 
of Inquiry which emphasizes what came by PCHR and other Palestinian and 
international human rights organizations.  The report at the time 
concluded that the Israeli violations may amount to war crimes and 
crimes against humanity.

PCHR emphasizes that continuously targeting civilians, who exercise 
their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their 
humanitarian duty, is a serious violation of the rules of international 
law, international humanitarian law, the ICC Rome Statute and Fourth 
Geneva Convention.

Thus, PCHR reiterates its call upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an 
official investigation in these crimes and to prosecute and hold 
accountable all those applying or involved in issuing orders within the 
Israeli Forces at the security and political echelons.

PCHR also emphasizes that the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 
Fourth Geneva Convention should fulfill their obligation under Article 
1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all 
circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute 
persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

PCHR calls upon Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depository State for 
the Convention, to demand the High Contracting Parties to convene a 
meeting and ensure Israel’s respect for this Convention, noting that 
these grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same 
Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions 
regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in 
the occupied territories.


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