Monday, November 30, 2020

One Palestinian killed, 30 injured at “Great March” protests in Gaza

By J.J. Rhies - May 13, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza] [Gaza Blockade]


One Palestinian was killed and some 30 others injured by Israeli gunfire during protests along the Israel-Gaza perimeter on Friday, May 10.


24-year-old Abdullah Abd al-Aal was shot in the abdomen at a protest in the southern Gaza Strip, east of Rafah, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.


The health ministry also said 30 demonstrators were injured by gunfire, including four children and a paramedic, who was shot in the head, Al Jazeera reported.


Israeli soldiers opened fire on demonstrators who were near the boundary fence that separates Israel and Gaza, according to an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokeswoman, the New York Times said.


She added that roughly 6,000 Gazans attended last Friday’s protest, which was the 58th of the weekly demonstrations.


The “Great March of Return” protests began May 30, 2018, as an organic response to dire conditions in the besieged coastal territory, which has been subject to a 12-year Israeli blockade.


The United Nations has previously reported that conditions in Gaza will be “unlivable” by 2020 if they are not adequately redressed.


Friday’s violence came only days after Israel and Gaza agreed to a cease-fire, mediated by Egypt and Qatar, Palestinian sources said at the time.


The agreement was reached on Monday, May 6, after a bloody weekend of rocket attacks on both sides.


An Israeli army spokesman said at the time that Hamas launched some 700 rockets into Israel, and IDF forces conducted strikes on roughly 320 targets, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions.


The weekend of violence began after two Israeli soldiers were wounded by gunfire along the Israel-Gaza boundary at a “Great March of Return” protest on Friday, May 3, which prompted retaliatory strikes from Israel.


Israeli airstrikes killed at least 25 Palestinians, including two infants and two pregnant women. Hamas’s rockets killed four Israelis.


Before the cease-fire, which has been effectively breached with the killing of Abd al-Aal and 30 casualties on May 10, there were concerns about the possibility of another war between Israel and Gaza.


The last Israel-Gaza war, in the summer of 2014, left more than 2,000 Palestinians and 72 Israelis dead.


The beset Gaza Strip, which former UK prime minister David Cameron once described as an “open-air prison,” has been under siege since 2007.


Unemployment and poverty in the territory, which is home to 2.2 million people, has skyrocketed since the blockade began.


UN officials, Amnesty International and others have called the blockade “collective punishment,” which is unlawful.

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