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          size="-2"><a class="domain reader-domain"
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/israel-has-injured-24000-gaza-protesters">https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/israel-has-injured-24000-gaza-protesters</a></font>
        <h1 class="reader-title">Israel has injured 24,000 Gaza
          protesters</h1>
        <p class="node__submitted">
          <span class="field field-author"><a
              href="https://electronicintifada.net/people/maureen-clare-murphy">Maureen
              Clare Murphy</a></span> <span class="field field-blog">-</span>
          <span class="field field-publication-date"><span
              class="date-display-single"
              content="2018-11-25T00:25:36+00:00">25 November 2018</span></span>
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                <figure id="file-71861"><source media="(min-width:
                    72rem)"><figcaption><small><span></span></small></figcaption></figure>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>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 Return.</p>
                <p>“The vast majority of casualties were unarmed, and
                  were fatally shot from a distance while in the Gaza
                  Strip itself,” <a
href="https://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/20181122_over_5800_palestinians_wounded_in_7_months_of_protests">according
                    to</a> a new report by the Israeli group B’Tselem,
                  confirming <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/no-evidence-single-gaza-protester-killed-israel-was-armed">previous
                    findings</a> by other rights organizations.</p>
                <p>“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.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>Injuries to 90 protesters – 17 of them children –
                  have resulted in amputation, nearly all of the lower
                  limbs.</p>
                <p>Altogether, <a
                    href="https://whoinopt.exposure.co/gaza-waiting-for-treatment">a
                    staggering 24,000 Palestinians</a> have been injured
                  during the Great March of Return protests – more than
                  one percent of the territory’s population.</p>
                <p>Around half of those injured were treated at field
                  clinics at protest sites. The rest were transferred to
                  hospital for treatment.</p>
                <p>“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.”</p>
                <p>Hundreds of Palestinians require long-term limb
                  reconstruction involving multiple surgeries and
                  extensive rehabilitation, according to the
                  organization.</p>
                <h2>Shot in lower limbs</h2>
                <p>B’Tselem surveyed more than 400 protesters who were
                  wounded by live fire, including 63 children.</p>
                <p>The vast majority – 85 percent – were shot in their
                  lower limbs.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>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,”
                  B’Tselem stated.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>Being shot by occupation forces is only “the first
                  chapter in a prolonged ordeal,” according to B’Tselem.</p>
                <p>“Even a superbly functioning healthcare system would
                  be sorely tried when faced with such a large number of
                  casualties,” the group states.</p>
                <p>“Yet in Gaza, even before the protests began, the
                  healthcare system was already on the brink of
                  collapse.”</p>
                <p>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 violence.</p>
                <h2>Medicines depleted</h2>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>Stocks of more than 250 types of medical disposables
                  had been depleted.</p>
                <p>“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 to B’Tselem.</p>
                <p>“In addition, Gaza’s intermittent power supply, again
                  largely Israel’s doing, also disrupts hospital
                  functions.”</p>
                <p>Israel meanwhile denies or delays permission to
                  medical patients to travel outside Gaza via Erez
                  checkpoint for treatment unavailable in the besieged
                  territory.</p>
                <p>Others have been referred to hospitals in Egypt but
                  cannot afford the treatment.</p>
                <p>Gaza’s sole prosthetic limbs workshop “can provide
                  only the most basic prosthetic legs with limited range
                  of motion,” <a
href="https://www.npr.org/2018/10/31/660576415/inside-gaza-s-prosthetics-clinic-treating-wounded-palestinian-protesters">according
                    to</a> a recent media report.</p>
                <p>The cost of going abroad for prosthetic limbs is
                  prohibitive in impoverished Gaza where the blockade
                  has pushed unemployment rates to over 50 percent.</p>
                <p>In addition to physical harm, Israel’s crackdown on
                  the protests has <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/nightmares-rise-among-gazas-children">increased
                    symptoms of post-traumatic stress</a> in children
                  who find themselves reliving trauma from previous
                  military assaults on Gaza.</p>
                <h2>“Deliberate policy”</h2>
                <p>“The high number of casualties at the protests is not
                  an unavoidable fact of life,” B’Tselem states.</p>
                <p>“It is the result of a deliberate policy by the
                  Israeli security establishment.”</p>
                <p>“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.”</p>
                <p>Israeli forces have shot bystanders standing hundreds
                  of meters away while “doing nothing to jeopardize the
                  troops,” as stated by B’Tselem.</p>
                <p>These open fire orders – kept secret by the state –
                  have been <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/israels-high-court-blesses-killing-and-maiming-gaza-protesters">rubber-stamped
                    by Israel’s high court</a>.</p>
                <p>A lower court recently <a
                    href="http://mezan.org/en/post/23316">ruled</a> that
                  Palestinians in Gaza are not entitled to seek
                  compensation for damages from Israel because the state
                  has declared the territory an “enemy entity.”</p>
                <h2>“Banned from redress”</h2>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>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.”</p>
                <p>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.”</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor
                  has <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/icc-warns-israeli-leaders-over-gaza-killings">warned</a>
                  Israeli leaders that the shooting of unarmed
                  Palestinians along the Gaza boundary could be
                  considered a crime under international law within the
                  court’s jurisdiction.</p>
                <p>Palestinian and international nongovernmental
                  organizations <a
                    href="http://mezan.org/en/post/23220">have called on</a>
                  the International Criminal Court to “urgently” open an
                  investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.</p>
                <p>The situation in Palestine has been under preliminary
                  examination by the prosecutor’s office since 2015.</p>
                <br>
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