Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is releasing a report on Israeli violations of international law against protesters, journalists and paramedics at the “Great March of Return” demonstrations in Gaza. The report covers the period from 30 March 2018, the start of the demonstrations, to 28 February 2019, and is a component of a European Union funded project to promote civil and political rights in Gaza and pursue accountability and justice. Providing a factual and legal analysis, this report gives an overview of the violations of international human rights law that stem from the unlawful killing and wounding of protesters, journalists and paramedics.
Based on Al Mezan’s monitoring, and in particular the affidavits and evidence that Al Mezan’s fieldworkers and lawyers recorded, Al Mezan concludes that Israeli soldiers, including sharpshooters, consistently used excessive force against individuals who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, and by doing so, repeatedly deviated from international law rules and obligations. This conduct amounted to serious violation of the fundamental right to life of 190 Palestinian protesters, journalists and paramedics—including children, women and people with disability.
The use of excessive force on unarmed protesters was not limited to killing, but also included the infliction of injuries, both physical and psychological, on protesters, journalists and paramedics. In many cases, irreversible physical damage was inflicted, with casualties suffering from permanent harm or amputation of body parts.
The report concludes with a set of recommendations, among them the call on the international community to ensure the protection of protected persons, end the closure and blockade of Gaza, ensure access to adequate healthcare.