Time: 7:00 p.m.
For the second Friday of the “Great Return March”, Israeli occupation forces opened fire at hundreds of unarmed Palestinian protesters demonstrating along the border of the Gaza Strip. Some protesters set tires on fire and Israeli soldiers used lethal and other excessive force against protesters. Eight protesters died today: seven were shot and killed, including a child, and one died from injuries sustained last Friday, 30 March 2018. At least 489 Palestinians were injured, including 56 minors, four women, three journalists, and three paramedics; 307 of the injured sustained wounds caused by live fire.
The documentation conducted by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights shows that from the start of the protests on 30 March 2018 to the time of publication, 29 Palestinians were killed, including three children; 23 of those killed were participating in demonstrations. During the same period, 1,752 persons were injured—1,150 of them by live fire. Among the injured were 290 children, 51 women, seven journalists, and three paramedics.
At about 2:00pm on Friday, 6 April 2018, Israeli forces located on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, and tear gas at protesters who were participating in mass demonstrations held in the east of the Rafah, Khan Younis, Deir Al Balah, Gaza City, and North Gaza districts.
In the southern Gaza Strip district of Rafah, Israeli forces fatally shot both Alaa-Eddein Al Zamli, 16, and Mohammed Saleh, 33. Another 109 protesters were injured in the same district, including 17 children, three paramedics, and a journalist; 43 of them were wounded from live fire.
In the district of Khan Younis, Israeli forces opened fire at protesters near the eastern border. Khamis Qdeih, a 29-year-old resident of Khan Younis, was fatally shot in the head, and 56 protesters, including seven children and a journalist, were injured—all from live ammunition.
In the district of Deir Al Balah in the middle of the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces shot in the head and killed both Ibrahim Al-Er, 20, Sedqi Abu Etaiwy, 45; both were residents of the An-Nusairat refugee camp. Another 40 demonstrators, including five children and a woman, were injured; 27 were injured from Israeli live fire.
In the Gaza City district Israeli forces fatally shot Hussein Madi, a 14-year-old resident of Gaza City. Another 116 protesters, including ten children and two women, were injured in shooting incidents by Israeli forces—76 of them by live fire.
In the district of North Gaza, Majdi Ramadan Shabat, a 38-year-old resident of Beit Hanoun town, was fatally shot in the neck by Israeli forces. Another 168 protesters, including 17 children, were injured; 114 of them were wounded from Israeli forces’ use of live fire. At 6:00am on Friday, 6 April 2018, doctors at the Indonesia hospital announced the death of Tha’er Rabea’, a 30-year-old resident of Jabalia, from an injury he sustained while at the demonstration on Friday, 30 March 2018.
Al Mezan condemns the excessive and lethal force used by the occupying power to police the demonstrations and recalls that the protection of protestors is enshrined in the principles of international human rights law. With international humanitarian law acting as the overarching legal framework, grounded in the law of occupation, Al Mezan asserts that the legal consequences of the Israeli forces’ lethal and injurious targeting of the protected population correspond with grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Al Mezan calls on the European Union to condemn the lethal and other excessive force used against Palestinian protestors, amounting to willful killing as a war crime, and to urge Israel to protect and respect the protestors’ legitimate exercise of the rights of freedom of expression, assembly, and association.
While reaffirming the legitimacy and inalienability of the human rights of Palestinians, Al Mezan reiterates its call on the international community to take immediate steps to ensure the protection of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip, including through seeking an end to the illegal Israeli closure. Al Mezan stresses that the absence of accountability has advanced the Israeli forces’ policies and practices vis-à-vis the Palestinian protected population that allow for harm and destruction in serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.