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Protester and Paramedic Killed and 140 Injured on Friday Demonstrations in Gaza

11-08-2018 18:38

Time: 9pm (local time)

 

On Friday, 10 August 2018, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians at the weekly demonstration in the Gaza Strip. One of the victims was a volunteer paramedic. Another 140 people were injured, including 22 children, two women, four paramedics, and two journalists, at the demonstrations. At least 103 of the injured were hit by live fire and five were in critical condition according to medical sources at the time indicated on the top of this press release.

 

Al Mezan’s documentation shows that from 4:30pm on Friday, 10 August 2018, Israeli forces located at the fence along the eastern areas of Gaza used live ammunition, plastic-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and artillery sound shells on unarmed protesters. The shooting continued until 7pm. Al Mezan documented the two fatal casualties as follows:

  • Abdallah Al-Qutati, a 22-year-old resident of Rafah and a volunteer paramedic, who was shot with a live bullet in the chest. Al-Qutati was killed at 6:15pm on Friday while he was evacuating casualties and providing medical aid in eastern Rafah. He was taken to the Gaza European Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead at 7pm the same day; and
  • Ali Al-Aloul, a 55-year-old resident of Rafah, was shot with live fire in the chest at 6:20pm during his participation in the Friday demonstration in eastern Rafah. He was taken to the Gaza European Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead at 8:15pm the same day. Al-Aloul, who dedicated his Fridays to volunteering with the field-based medical teams, was dressed in his white coat and at about 50 meters from the fence when he was shot, according to eyewitnesses.

 

Al Mezan’s documentation shows that Israeli forces have demonstrated a pattern of directing fire at unarmed protesters, including medics and journalists. Both live ammunition and tear-gas canisters have been repeatedly fired directly at medics and journalists by Israeli forces. In this context, Al Mezan has also documented the cases of the following attacks on medics and journalists on Friday, 10 August 2018:

  • Khaled Ayoub, a 56-year-old paramedic from the Palestinian Civil Defense, was hit in the back with a tear-gas canister in the demonstration in the east of the North Gaza district;
  • Abdulaziz Al-Najar, 27, was hit in the left hand by shrapnel;
  • Mahmoud Abdulaati, 33, was hit in the left leg by live fire; and
  • Ahmed Wafi, 24, was hit in the right leg by a tear-gas canister.

 

The later three are paramedics working with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, and were injured while working in the east of the Khan Younis district.

  • An ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society was also damaged from live fire shot by Israeli forces in eastern Rafah;
  • Mahmoud Al-Jamal, a 24-year-old freelance photojournalist, was injured in the left ear by shrapnel; and
  • Alaa Al-Namla, a 29-year-old correspondent for Al-Quds and Palestine Today radio stations, was injured in the right leg by live fire.

 

Both journalists were injured while working in east Rafah. In some instances, protesters at the demonstrations in Rafah, Middle Gaza, and Gaza City were also attacked with artillery stun shells.

 

Al Mezan’s documentation shows that from the start of the Great Return March on 30 March 2018, 174 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. Of them, 126 were killed in the demonstrations—including 23 children, two journalists, three paramedics, and three persons with disability. Another 8,998 people were injured, including 1,637 children, 403 women, 95 paramedics, and 84 journalists—of them 5,048 were hit by live fire.

 

Al Mezan reiterates its strong condemnation of the use of lethal and other excessive force by the Israeli forces, including sharpshooters, to police demonstrations. Al Mezan stresses its strongest condemnation of Israel’s continuous attacks on medics and journalists, whose service adheres to the standards of impartiality and neutrality. Palestinians in Gaza have the right to peacefully assemble to demand their fundamental and inalienable human rights. The case of protesters, medics, and journalists, who pose no serious threat to the Israeli forces, being shot lethally indicates a bold continuation of unlawful targeting practices, despite its legal consequences and international condemnation.

 

Al Mezan urges the international community, led by the Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to take prompt and effective steps to ensure respect for international law and provide meaningful protection for unarmed protesters and civilians throughout Gaza. The duty to protect civilians is a principal legal obligation and is at this point in the conflict a test of the authenticity of the international community’s commitment to their legal obligations, moral standards and humanitarian objectives vis-à-vis the Palestinian population.

 

Al Mezan stresses its position that the failure to hold to account perpetuators of human rights and international humanitarian law violations encourages the advancement of impunity. Al Mezan therefore calls on the international community to activate accountability mechanisms to ensure that violators are brought to justice in accordance with international humanitarian and criminal law.

 

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Tags / #IOF #buffer zone #IHL #march of return