[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
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Apr 22 11:57:30 EDT 2019
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
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:
*Total* 203 12161
*Children* 44 2351
*Women* 2 367
*Journalists* 2 198
*Medical personnel* 3 194
*Persons with disabilities* 8 Undefined
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
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
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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