4th Straight Bloody Friday in Gaza
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Demonstrations and protests are fundamental rights. Israel lawlessly considers them incitement and terrorism.
For the fourth straight Great March of Return Friday, Israeli soldiers initiated violence, including live fire, against thousands of defenseless Gazans demonstrating for their rights near the border fence.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, four Gazans were killed, another 729 injured, many from live fire, including 41, children, 12 women and one journalist.
Mohammad Ibrahim Ayyoub, aged-15, died from an exploding dum dum bullet to the head. Three others died from live fire wounds to the head and/or the neck.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said “(f)or the fourth week in a row and upon a decision by the Israeli highest military and political echelons, the Israeli forces used lethal force against the peaceful protesters, who did not pose any threat to the soldiers’ lives.”
Since Good Friday, nearly 40 Gazans were lethally shot, thousands of others injured, (including 22 journalists and 9 paramedics), hundreds from live fire – the world community doing nothing to stop the carnage, nothing to hold Israel accountable for atrocities too grave to ignore.
According to PCHR fieldworkers, demonstrators were 50 – 100 meters closer to the border than previous weeks, surrounded by sand barriers, adding:
“…Israeli forces increased the height of the hills on which the Israeli snipers position so they would have a clear view of the area while dozens snipers continued to position behind the sand barriers, hills and military jeeps along the border fence…”
Early Friday morning, IDF warplanes dropped thousands of leaflets, warning demonstrators they’d be targeted like previous weeks if approached the border fence.
IDF “snipers deliberately and selectively opened fire at the participants in the peaceful demonstrations which included thousands of civilians” – demonstrating from 50 – 300 meters from the border fence, PCHR explained.
“(D)emonstrations were as always fully peaceful, and PCHR’s fieldworkers did not witness weapons or armed persons even dressed in civilian clothes among the demonstrators, who were thousands of elderlies, women, children and entire families.”
They displayed Palestinian flags, chanted slogans, sang songs, and flew kites. Some set tires ablaze as in previous weeks.
No one threatened Israeli security. Yet four Gazans were killed, hundreds wounded, many from live fire, others from rubber-coated steel bullets and toxic tear gas.
A field hospital located around 800 meters from the border was attacked with toxic tear gas. medical staff forced to evacuate.
As in previous weeks, journalists were targeted, many harmed from tear gas inhalation.
PCHR estimated around 10,000 Gazan civilians participated in Friday’s demonstration. Israeli violence began at 7:00 AM local time, continued for around 12 hours.
Israel flagrantly violates core international laws unaccountably. World community failure to confront its lawlessness encourages more of it – ongoing throughout the Territories for 70 years, no end of it in prospect.
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