Two Protesters Killed and 108 Injured on Friday Demonstration in Gaza

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Israeli forces are continuing to fire at protesters near the separation fence in the east of the Gaza Strip. On Friday, 3 August 2018, the forces killed two Palestinians taking part in the protests, one of them a child, and injured at least 108 more, including 14 children, a woman and two journalists. At least 80 of the injured were hit by live fire and six are in critical condition, according to medical sources.

Al Mezan’s documentation shows that from 4:30pm on Friday, 3 August 2018, Israeli forces located at the eastern fence in Gaza used live ammunition, plastic-coated bullets, and tear gas on unarmed protesters. The shooting continued until 8pm. Al Mezan documented the two fatal casualties:

  • Ahmed Yaghi, a 25-year-old resident of Gaza City, who was shot in the chest with live fire at around 5:30pm. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at Al Shifa Hospital; and

  • Mu’ath Al Soori, a 15-year-old resident of Nusairat refugee camp, who was shot in the stomach with live fire at around 7:15pm. He was taken to Al Aqsa Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead at 5am on Saturday, 4 August 2018.

Al Mezan’s documentation shows that from the start of the Great Return March on 30 March 2018, 165 Palestinians have been killed. Of them, 122 were killed in protests, including 21 children, two journalists, two paramedics, and three people with disability. Another 8,875 people were injured, including 1,611 children, 399 women, 90 paramedics, and 82 journalists—of those injured, 4,952 people were hit by live fire.

Al Mezan condemns the continued use of lethal and other excessive force on unarmed protestors. These targeting practices are in blatant disregard for international law and compound the sense of desperation in Gaza. The unlawful direct attacks on unarmed protesters and military attacks on civilians and civilian property throughout the Gaza Strip must stop without delay.

Al Mezan urges the international community, led by the Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to take prompt and effective steps to ensure respect for international law and provide meaningful protection for unarmed protesters and civilians throughout Gaza. The duty to protect civilians is a principle legal obligation and is at this point in the conflict a test of the authenticity of the international community’s commitment to their legal obligations, moral standards and humanitarian objectives vis-à-vis the Palestinian population.

Al Mezan stresses its position that the failure to hold to account perpetuators of human rights and international humanitarian law violations encourages the advancement of impunity. Al Mezan therefore calls on the international community to activate accountability mechanisms to ensure that violators are brought to justice in accordance with international humanitarian and criminal law.