Friday of protest in Gaza

  • Friday of protest in Gaza

Friday of protest in Gaza

Over 500 Palestinians were wounded, including 122 from Israeli gunfire, in Friday's protests, health officials said, adding that a Gaza journalist was in serious condition after sustaining a bullet wound to his abdomen. "I refuse to make peace with the Israelis who kill us and besiege us, and the whole world should know this", a protester, Ahmed Abu Batnein, told MEE.

Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded man during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, April 13, 2018.

Conricus said on Friday (Saturday NZT) that the military is trying to minimise Palestinian casualties, but hadn't changed open-fire regulations. Protesters stuck a Palestinian flag into the fence and affixed a rope, using it to tug at the coils.

"We, a group of former combatants who were members of sniper teams, seek to express our feelings of distress regarding the recent incidents in the Gaza Strip", the letter said.

As the March of Great Return continued along the Israeli border on Friday, Gaza health officials reported that Israeli forces ignored worldwide calls for restraint and injured more than 500 Palestinians with tear gas and live ammunition, shooting at least 122 protesters.

The spokesman said there were "thousands of demonstrators along the barrier".

Tens of thousands of Gazans continue to protest at the border for the third week in a row. Israeli troops have shot dead at least 30 Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing global criticism.

The ministry did not provide a breakdown according to types of injuries. Smaller numbers have approached the fence, throwing stones and rolling burning tyres toward soldiers taking up positions on the other side.

Israeli troops fired live bullets and tear gas.

The army said troops were instructed to use crowd control measures and resort to live fire only to prevent infiltration attempts, militant attacks, or attempts to harm soldiers. Israel says snipers only target the main "instigators".

Eyewitness testimonies as well as videos and photographs taken during demonstrations point to evidence that, in some instances, unarmed Palestinian protesters were shot by Israeli snipers while waving the Palestinian flag or running away from the fence. Since late March, 27 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by army fire during such rallies.

On Friday, most of the demonstrators assembled in five tent camps located several hundred meters (yards) from the border fence.

Gaza has endured a border blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas overran the territory in 2007, a year after winning Palestinian parliament elections.

The marches have been organised by Hamas, but large turnouts on two preceding Fridays were also driven by desperation among the territory's 2 million residents.

Since the protests began last month, at least 34 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces. Their horrifying use of live ammunition against unarmed protesters, and the resultant deaths, must be investigated as possible unlawful killings.

At a protest camp there, a large Israeli flag was placed on the ground for demonstrators to walk on.