Israeli occupation forces continue to attack the civilian population of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The uses of force, including lethal force, against Palestinian protestors is excessive. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the total of fatalities in October has reached 72 Palestinians, including 15 children. 7,270 people have been injured from live and plastic-coated bullets, by tear gas and sound grenades, in addition to the 200 attacks against medical crews in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
According to Al Mezan’s documentation, since Friday, 9 October 2015, and until the publishing of this press release, the total fatalities in Gaza has reached 17 victims (all civilians). Three of the victims are children. At least 862 people have been injured from live and plastic-coated bullets, by tear gas and sound grenades; this figure includes 79 children and three women. 272 of the people injured sustained live bullet wounds. Moreover, the Israeli occupation forces targeted journalists and medical crews; 13 journalists and 23 medical professionals have been injured.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the escalation of attacks against civilians and the targeting of journalists and medical crews by Israeli occupation forces. Al Mezan warns of further deterioration of the situation and the perpetuation of Israeli violations in the oPt if the silence and failure of the international community to provide the due protection for civilians continues.
According to Al Mezan’s documentation, at approximately 1:30 pm on Friday, 30 October 2015, Israeli occupation forces opened heavy fire and launched tear gas canisters at a popular solidarity event. The protest, in solidarity with East Jerusalem, included hundreds of young men and children at Erez crossing. The clashes between the Israeli occupation forces and the young men at Erez crossing and its surrounding areas ended at 6:00 pm the same day. 11 civilians were injured. Among the victims, five sustained bullet wounds. Medical sources described the injury of one of them as critical.
In the district of Gaza City, at approximately 2:00 pm on the same day, Israeli occupation forces opened fire and launched tear gas canisters at tens of young men and children who were participating in a popular event to protest against Israeli violations in Jerusalem and the broader West Bank. The clashes between the Israeli occupation forces and the young men at Nahal Oz crossing and its surrounding areas east of Al Shejai’ya neighborhood ended at 7:30 pm the same day. 17 civilians were injured. Of the victims, seven sustained bullet wounds.
In the district of Middle Gaza, at approximately 3:30 pm on Saturday, 31 October 2015, Israeli forces occupation opened fire and launched tear gas canisters at tens of young men and minors who were near the separation fence, east of Al Bureij refugee camp. As a result, three people sustained bullet wounds.
In the district of Khan Younis, at approximately 2:30 pm on Friday, 30 October 2015, Israeli occupation forces opened fire and launched tear gas canisters at tens of people who were gathered near the separation fence in the Al Faraheen area in Abassan, eastern Khan Younis. As a result, 14 civilians sustained bullet wounds, including journalist Ibrahim Ahmed Abu Rida, 24, who sustained a bullet wound in his chest and the paramedic Tamer Mahmoud Shaheen, 38, who sustained shrapnel wounds in his face. They were carried to the Gaza European Hospital. Their injuries were described as moderate.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the violations perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against civilians in the oPt. Al Mezan asserts that many of the practices carried out by Israel’s occupying forces represent serious and systematic violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. These violations, which must be seen in the context of Israel's continued closure/blockade of Gaza, land grab practices, policy of separation, willful killing, and continued repression in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, testify to Israel's intention to maintain its unlawful occupation of the oPt.
The repression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel, through its armed forces and authorities, is the predominate mechanism used to deny Palestinians their inalienable right to self-determination. The repression continues without any meaningful intervention by the international community.
Therefore, Al Mezan calls on the international community to uphold its legal obligations under international law to provide due protection for civilians on the one hand, and to take action to enable the Palestinian people to achieve their right to self-determination on the other. Al Mezan asserts that the failure to act and the silence of the international community towards the Israeli violations has encouraged Israel to perpetuate policies and practices that constitute violations of international law. This silence must stop.