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85th GMR: IOF Shot and Injured 45 Palestinian Civilians, Including 17 Children, 3 Women and a Journalist

Ref: 143/2019

Forty-Five Palestinian civilians, including 17 children, 3 women and a journalist, were shot and injured by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire against peaceful protestors at the 85th Great March of Return (GMR), this Friday, 20 December 2019.

This week, IOF continued the use of excessive force against peaceful protestors, as 11 civilians were shot with live bullets and shrapnel; 3 were deemed in serious condition, in addition to other injuries with rubber bullets, mainly in protesters’ upper bodies.

The Supreme National Authority of GMR called for today’s protests under the slogan “Hebron is a thorn in the way of efforts to create a Jewish majority” in solidarity with Hebron Governorate, which has been lately the target of Israeli settlement schemes.

At 14:00, Palestinian civilians head towards the five GMR encampments in the eastern Gaza Strip to join today’s protest which lasted to 16:30.

Since GMR started on 30 March 2018, PCHR documented 215 civilian killings by IOF, including 47 children, 2 women, 9 persons with disabilities, 4 paramedics and 2 journalists. Additionally, IOF shot and injured 14,815 civilians, including 3,735 children, 391 women, 255 paramedics and 219 journalists, noting that many sustained multiple injuries on separate occasions.

The following is a summary of today’s events along the Gaza Strip border:

Northern Gaza Strip: demonstrations took off in eastern Jabalia. A few protesters threw stones at IOF stationed along the border fence. IOF shot and injured 15 civilians, including 5 children, a woman and a journalist; 3 of them, including a girl and an elderly woman, were shot with live bullets and shrapnel; 11, including 3 children, were shot with rubber bullets; and a child was hit with a tear gas canister. The wounded journalist, Thair Khaled Fahmi Abu Rayash (24), was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg.

Gaza City: protests took part in Malaka area in eastern Gaza City. IOF shot and injured protestors with live and rubber bullets as well as tear gas canisters. No casualties were reported.

Central Gaza Strip: IOF stationed behind sand berms and in military SUVs along the border fence in eastern al-Buriej Camp fired live and rubber bullets as well as tear gas canisters at protestors, including youth, children and women, while gathering adjacent to the border fence at a range varying between 0 – 300 meters. Additionally, IOF launched a drone to photograph protestors who had set tires on fire and thrown stones and sound bombs near the borders, without posing any threat to IOF’s lives.  6 civilians sustained bullet injuries in the shooting which lasted until 17:00, including a woman: 3 were shot with live bullets and 3 were shot with rubber bullets. The wounded were taken to al-Aqsa Hospital in Dir al-Balah: Ibrahim Mahmoud Saleh Abu Khashab (25), was deemed in serious condition after being shot with a live bullet in his abdomen and admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while others’ injuries were classified between moderate to minor. Furthermore, dozens of protestors suffocated due to tear gas inhalation; some of them were treated on spot while others were taken to hospitals.

Khan Younis: Hundreds civilians joined today’s protests in Khuza’ah area in eastern Khan Younis.  Most of the protesters stayed in the encampment for the activities while only few dozens gathered near the border fence and attempted to throw stones and Molotov cocktails. IOF fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 9 civilians, including 2 children and a woman, were shot with rubber bullets. Moreover, dozens of protestors suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

Rafah: hundreds of protestors gathered in eastern al-Shawka neighborhood while others remained at the protest encampment, where speeches and theatrical performances were performed. Dozens attempted to approach the fence and throw stones. IOF fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at protestors. As a result, 14 civilians, including 5 children, were injured; 2 were deemed in serious condition, including a child: 5 shot with live bullets, 5 with rubber bullets and 4 were hit with tear gas canisters. Those sustained serious wounds were identified:

  1. Hazem Khaled Abu Jaridah (20), who was shot with a live bullet in his neck and referred to the Gaza European Hospital.
  2. Basel ‘Abdul Raouf Salam al-Lolahi (15), who was shot with a live bullet upper his thigh.