24th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege of the Gaza Strip

Israeli Forces Kill 1 Child and Wound 137 Civilians, including 26 Children, 4 Paramedics and 1 Journalist

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), September 7, 2018, Ref: 97/2018

On Friday afternoon, 07 September 2018, using excessive force against the peaceful protesters in the eastern Gaza Strip for the 24th Friday in a row, Israeli forces Killed a child and wounded 137 civilians, including 26 children, 4 paramedics and 1 journalist with live bullets and directly hit tear gas canisters. Nine of those wounded sustained serious wounds in addition to dozens of civilians suffering tear gas inhalation. Moreover, Today early morning, a young man succumbed to serious wounds he sustained during his participation in the Return Demonstration in the northern Gaza Strip on 13 July 2018.

According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed heavy deployment of the Israeli forces this week as the latter heavily fired live bullets and tear gas canisters, increasing the number of causalities comparing with the previous weeks, despite the peaceful nature prevailing the demonstrations.

The Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators who posed no threat or danger to the life of Israeli soldiers in the areas of demonstrations.

Table of Civilian Casualties due to the Israeli Suppression since the Beginning of the Great March of Return on 30 March

Casualties Medical Crews Journalists Women Children Total Notes
Killed 3 2 1 24 132 [1]
Wounded 109 80 206 1208 7042 [2]

[1] Among those killed there are 3 persons with disabilities, while among the children killed there is a girl.
[2] Among those wounded, 433 are in serious condition and 69 had their lower or upper limbs amputated. The number of wounded includes those from live bullets and directly hit with tear gas canisters, as there have been a thousand others who suffered tear gas inhalation.


Investigations and observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers emphasize that the demonstrations in all areas were as always fully peaceful, and neither weapons nor armed persons were seen. However, the Israeli forces’ snipers continued to position on the hills, behind the sand berms and in military jeeps along the border fence.

The incidents today, 07 September 2018, were as follows:

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Medical Personnel Under Fire

3 paramedics killed and 103 medical staff injured

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has launched a video titled: “Medical Personnel Under Fire”. The video sheds lights on the serious violations committed against Palestinian medical personnel while rescuing the casualties of the peaceful March of Return. The video shows that Israeli forces used excessive force which resulted in the killing of 3 paramedics and the injury of about 103 medical staffers.

Israeli Authorities Ban Fuel and Gas into the Gaza Strip

Tightening Closure For 3rd Time in Less Than Month

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), August 2, 2018

Ref: 80/2018

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Israeli authorities decisions to tighten the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, completely close the sole commercial crossing “Karm Abu Salem” and ban the entry of fuel, gas, goods and basic needs for the Gaza Strip population. PCHR warns of the catastrophic consequences of these decisions on the lives of 2 million Palestinians suffering from serious deterioration of humanitarian, economic and social conditions resulted from these measures. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and all humanitarian organizations to immediately intervene in order to stop these decisions, lift the closure, and open all crossings to ensure the entry of all the Gaza Strip population’s needs, especially basic goods. Moreover, PCHR affirms that these decisions were the culmination of several previous decisions that the Israeli authorities have implemented since June 2007 in the context of a plan to tighten the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, on 01 August 2018, the Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, issued a decision to ban the entry of fuel and gas into the Gaza Strip through Karm Abu Salem crossing starting from Thursday until further notice. According to the Israeli statement, this decision was taken in response to the continued firing of incendiary balloons and the ongoing Return demonstrations’ activities near the Gaza Strip borders. The Israeli authorities previously issued a decision on 16 July 2018, to completely close Karm Abu Salem crossing, except for the entry of food, medical supplies, fuel and gas only when needed. Upon the same decision, the Israeli authorities reduced the fishing area in the Gaza Strip to 3 nautical miles instead of 6. The Israeli authorities also claimed that this decision was taken in response to flying incendiary kites and balloons by Hamas towards the areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli authorities have tightened the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, which entered its 12th consecutive year in mid-June since Tuesday, 10 July 2018, and decided to close Karm Abu Salem crossing and prevent the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip, except for the entry of some humanitarian goods, including food, medicine, fuel, and gas. Furthermore, the Israeli authorities imposed a complete ban on exporting and marketing goods from Gaza Strip. Upon the same decision, the Israeli authorities reduced the fishing area in the Gaza Strip to six nautical miles instead of nine.

The closure measures threaten all aspects of life in the Gaza Strip, and PCHR is concerned over the collapse of all basic services needed by the Gaza Strip population. These services already suffer from a serious deterioration for years due to the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Concerning the health sector, and taking into account the dependence of hospitals and medical facilities on fuel to operate generators in light of the power outage for more than 20 hours a day, the Ministry of Health has taken austerity measures as it reduced providing services for civilians. This reduce included providing diagnostic services and conducting surgical operations. The number of delayed operations during the past 3 months was about 7000 surgeries. Furthermore, the lives of about 2000 patients staying in the Gaza Strip hospitals are in real danger. Patients, particularly cancer, cardiac, and dialysis patients and preterm infants in the nursery sections and Intensive Care Units (ICU), are mostly exposed to danger, in light of the deterioration of the health services.

Moneer al-Bursh, Director General of Pharmacy in the Health Ministry, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Ministry of Health suffers from a severe shortage in medicine and medical consumables. The current deficit rate is 48% of the lists of medicines and medical consumables that are needed for patients and health facilities, including 42 types of the cancer medicines i.e. 65% of the total medicines needed for cancer patients. This led to obstructing a large number of treatment protocols for this disease. Al-Bursh pointed out that one type of these medicines could stop a full therapeutic service.

In terms of water and sanitations, the fuel running out would lead to pumping the sewage water to the Gaza Strip shores without recycling it. Laboratory tests made in last April by the Environmental Quality Authority and Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip shown that 75% of the 40-kilometer coastal water is polluted with sewage due to the power outage crisis. According to statement of Bahaa Eddin al-Agha, Director of the Environment Protection in the Environmental Quality Authority, and in light of stop providing fuel for sewage treatment plants Department in the Environmental Quality Authority in the Gaza Strip, it is expected to completely stop treating the sewage water, which means a daily pumping of about 115,000 cubic meters of the untreated wastewater to the Gaza Strip shores. On 21 February 2018, the Municipality Union in the Gaza Strip issued a decision to completely close the Gaza Strip shores to pump the wastewater due to the municipalities’ inability to provide fuel for the treatment plant. The Environmental Quality Authority warned of swimming in Gaza, Jabalia, and Beit Lahia shores, which are the most vulnerable to pollution. The Gaza Strip sea is considered the only outlet for more than 2 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip in light of the Israeli closure and the power outage most of the day hours.

The economic sectors are facing a real disaster in light of the new closure measures. Ali Hassan al-Hayek, Chairman of the Palestinian Businessmen Association (PBA), warned of a wide collapse in the Gaza Strip economic system due to total stopping the exports movement from inside and outside the Gaza Strip and the Israeli forces’ prevention of the entry of about 400 types of basic goods to the Gaza Strip through Karm Abu Salem crossing. Al-Hayek added that banning exports and restricting imports has reduced the work in the Gaza Strip factories to the lowest of its abilities. This caused an imbalance in the money flow in markets, a paralysis in financial transactions for traders and businessmen and a large rise in the prices of materials, which are prohibited from entering the Gaza Strip, making the purchasing movement reached its minimum levels. this is a clear indicator of the outbreak of the political crisis. Since tightening the closure on the Gaza Strip, the Israeli authorities are detaining about 2,500 containers of raw materials, industrial and commercial goods, causing great losses for the Gaza Strip traders.

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Debunking Four Myths Surrounding the Palestinian Protests

The justifications given for the deaths of Palestinian protesters just don’t add up

Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip, June 1, 2018. Israeli tear gas canisters fall toward Palestinian protesters and medics during clashes with Israeli security forces along the Israel-Gaza border. Photo courtesy dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo.

Muhammad Shehada and Jamie Stern-Weiner, VICE, Jun 12 2018

Over the past ten weeks, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have participated in the “March of Return,” mass nonviolent demonstrations to protest Israel’s illegal siege. Throughout, Israel has responded with violent force.

As of June 7, Israeli forces had killed more than 110 Palestinians in the course of the protests, including 14 children, and injured more than 3,700 with live ammunition. In order to brutalize the people of Gaza into submission while minimizing the international criticism that accompanies lethal force, Israeli snipers deployed along Gaza’s perimeter fence methodically shot the legs of Palestinian demonstrators. “The aim,” reports the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, was “to leave as many young people as possible with permanent disabilities.” To this end, the snipers used expanding bullets that “pulverized” bones and left exit wounds the size of a fist. According to the Secretary-General of UNRWA, the United Nations agency providing education and healthcare for refugees in Gaza, “many” of those shot will suffer “life-long disabilities.” Mission accomplished.

In order to legitimize its resort to overwhelming force, Israel has sought to cast doubt on the popular character of the demonstrations in Gaza and to present them as a threat to its security. A number of myths about the Gaza protests have consequently gained widespread traction. They bear as tenuous a relation to reality as Israel’s insistence back in the 1980s that the overwhelmingly nonviolent First Intifada comprised a “campaign of terror” by “mobs,” or, more recently, its repeated denials that the Israeli military deployed white phosphorus in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

No one is suggesting that Palestinian forces have never engaged in violent forms of resisting Israel’s protracted, illegal siege—which has made Gaza “unlivable,” according to UN officials. But the current protests are overwhelmingly nonviolent, and have been met with murderous force.

Here are some of the most prominent myths about these recent protests, and why they’re not true.

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Bernie Sanders’ Criticism Of Israel Is Radical. And He’s Taking It Mainstream

Aiden Pink, Information Clearing House, June 13, 2018

Not many in the media are noticing, which is understandable given the burden of keeping up with Donald Trump, but in the shadow of Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, Bernie Sanders is dramatically challenging Beltway discourse on Israel.

In 2020, when Sanders likely runs for president, and journalists begin paying attention, they’re going to be shocked. The Israeli government and the American Jewish establishment will be scared out of their minds.

Last month, Sanders crossed one of the red lines demarcating politically acceptable Washington discourse about Israel. He organized the first letter written by multiple senators criticizing Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Then, last week, he raced past that line again with a video that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen from an American senator.

To understand how radical Sanders’ video is, it’s worth remembering how liberal Democrats like Barack Obama, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton talked about Israel and the Palestinians as recently as two years ago. While Obama, Kerry and Clinton did sometimes criticize Israeli policy, they generally did so in the language of Israeli self-interest, not of Palestinian human rights. Israeli settlement policy was bad for Israel, they argued, because it threatened Israel’s future as a democratic Jewish state.

On Gaza, the Obama administration never publicly urged Israel to negotiate with Hamas, even as former Israeli security chiefs did. And Obama effectively endorsed Israel’s position that Palestinians should not be allowed to hold elections because Hamas might win. (This despite the fact that Israeli parties that oppose the two state solution — among them, Likud — run in Israeli elections all the time).

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Gaza hospitals and clinics are overwhelmed


Gaza Needs Your Help

DONATE NOW!

I am far from Gaza right now, in the UK, but I am speaking with my friends, my family and my medical colleagues there every day. I know doctors and nurses are working night and day to treat the people injured in the recent massacres.

The aftermath of this massacre is overwhelming every health facility in Gaza. I’m writing now to ask you for your help to fund a medical shipment.

Here are some statistics that show the enormous challenges health workers in Gaza are facing:

  • The Israeli army killed 112 Palestinians and injured 13,190 since the March for Return began on March 30th
  • 13 Palestinian children killed and 2,096 injured
  • 323 emergency medical workers hit by live fire and gas bombs, one worker killed and 37 ambulances damaged
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