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Video: Médecins Sans Frontières clinic overwhelmed by Palestinians wounded during March of Return


Since the “Great March of Return” in Gaza began on March 30th, Israeli forces have violently suppressed the protests, killing over 40 Palestinians and injuring over 6,000 more. Doctors in Gaza have expressed concern that protesters have been targeted in the legs by Israeli live fire, noting Israel’s use of expanding or explosive bullets, that tear through soft tissue and make injuries extremely difficult to treat.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, as of May 3, at least 24 Palestinians have had their legs amputated due to their wounds. Israel has continued to justify its use of live fire against civilian protesters, claiming that the protesters “pose a threat” to its security fence.

Video: Yumna Patel, Akram al-Wara, and Nidal Wuheidi
Music: Man Down by Kevin MacLeod

Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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Akram Al-Wa'ra

Akram Al-Wa'ra is a freelance Palestinian filmmaker based in Bethlehem, Palestine.

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Nidal Wuheid

Nidal Wuheid is a Gaza-based videographer.

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7 Responses

  1. gracie fr on May 4, 2018, 5:29 pm

    Despite the wanton killing and appalling injuries, Israel repeats infinitum its broken record of justification(s):

    The protests by Palestinians on the Gaza border fall into the category of a state of war and thus human rights law does not apply to the rules of engagement, the state said in its response to a High Court petition filed by human rights groups.

    According to the response, the Israeli forces’ rules of engagement comply with both Israeli and international law.

    “The state opposes the applying of human rights law during an armed conflict,” the state wrote, adding that the Red Cross had acknowledged that such law indeed did not have to be applied during such a state of affairs.

    The state said the demonstrations were part of hostile acts by Hamas against Israel, though Israel did not necessarily see participation in violence at the border fence or the approaching of the fence as direct participation in a hostile act. Each case should be examined individually, it said.

    The State Prosecutor’s Office distinguishes between protesters demonstrating and protesters trying to break into Israel to attack soldiers and civilians.

    The state’s response relied on a 2015 High Court ruling on a petition by a demonstrator on the Lebanese border who was shot by the Israeli army. According to the ruling, the breaking-up of a violent, life-threatening protest allows for the use of potentially deadly force.

  2. Jackdaw on May 5, 2018, 3:18 am

    Explosive bullets is it?

    No. The IDF is using ordinary high velocity sniper bullets, often used to hit targets at great distances. The closer the targets the greater the damage.

    The IDF is targeting the lower extremities, where a bullet is likely to impact bone and shatter.

    So, no the IDF is not using explosive bullets.

    Mondoweiss, the consummate purveyor of agitprop.

    • Misterioso on May 5, 2018, 10:38 am


      “Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights,” May2/18

      “To Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Foreign and Commonwealth Office London SW1A 2AH”

      “Dear Minister Burt,
      Re: Targeting of Palestinian children at the protests on the Gaza border and monitoring Israel’s investigation into its military’s use of force.”

      “We write following our first letter on the Gaza protests on 3 April 2018 to express specific serious concern at the reprehensible targeting of children by live sniper fire. Since 30 March 2018, four children have been shot dead by Israeli forces, three of them by a bullet to either the head or neck. A further 233 children have been injured by live ammunition, with some sustaining injuries that will result in lifelong debilitating disabilities, including through the amputation of limbs.

      “Palestinians participating in the protests, including children, are considered to be civilians whom must be policed using a law enforcement legal framework that respects and protects their fundamental human rights under international human rights law. These include the right to life, the prohibition on cruel and inhuman treatment, and the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Children enjoy additional human rights protections under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

      “This is shockingly illustrated by the killing of Mohammed Ayoub, a 14-year-old resident of Al Falouja neighborhood in Jabalia refugee camp in the North Gaza district, who was shot with a live bullet to his head from Israeli forces at a demonstration in eastern North Gaza on 20 April. He is filmed being picked up and rescued from the site of his killing at a distance far away from the border with Israel.

      “We concur with the analysis of the Executive Director of B’Tselem, Hagai El-Ad, who stated in an open letter to the UN Secretary General on 26 April: ‘These horrific casualty figures – the 35 Palestinians killed and 1,500 injured by live ammunition – are the predictable outcome of the manifestly illegal rules of engagement implemented during the demonstrations, of
      ordering soldiers to use lethal gunfire against unarmed demonstrators who pose no mortal danger. These orders are unlawful under both international law and Israeli law. Responsibility for these fatal outcomes rests with the policy makers and – above all – with Israel’s prime minister, defense minister and chief of staff.’”

    • Misterioso on May 5, 2018, 11:07 am



      BMJ: “The Maiming Fields of Gaza”

      “Since 30 March 2018, Palestinians civilians living as refugees and exiles in Gaza ever since they were driven out from Palestine have been gathering in mass, unarmed demonstration about their right of return to the homeland they lost in 1948. Confronted by the Israeli army, including 100 snipers, the toll of dead and wounded Palestinian civilians is mounting at a shocking rate as we write.

      “There is a background to this. Firstly, there is the ongoing impact of the 12 year long Israeli blockade of Gaza on the care and health of her people, and the degrading of its health services. The violence and destruction inflicted by Israeli military action in Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9 marked a distinct turning point in the pauperization of Gaza, against a backdrop of an ever tightening blockade since 2006.That assault in 2014 killed over 2,200 civilians, a quarter of whom were children, wounded 11.000, destroyed 15 hospitals, 45 clinics and 80,000 homes. (1)

      “Since 2014 Israel has further tightened the passage of essential medicines and equipment into Gaza, and of the entry of doctors and experts from abroad who offer technical expertise not available locally. Gazan hospitals have been depleted of antibiotics, anaesthetic agents, painkillers, other essential drugs, disposables, and fuel to run surgical theatres. (2) Patients die while waiting for permission to go for specialist treatment outside Gaza. All elective surgery has been cancelled since last January 2018, and 3 hospitals have closed because of medication, equipment and fuel shortages (3). Medical personnel have been working on reduced salaries. Gazan health professionals find it almost impossible to get Israeli permission to travel abroad to further their training. The regular episodic military assaults on Gaza and the current targeting of unarmed demonstrators are part of a pattern of periodically induced emergencies arising from Israeli policy. The cumulative effects of the impact on healthcare provision for the general population have been documented in multiple reports by NGOs, UN agencies and the WHO. (4).This appears to be a strategy for the de-development of health and social services impinging on all the population of Gaza.

      “The current systematic use of excessive force towards unarmed civilians, including children and journalists, is provoking a further crisis for the people of Gaza. Since 30 March 2018, snipers firing military grade ammunition have caused crippling wounds to unarmed demonstrators.(5) As of 23 April 2018, 5511 Palestinians, including at least 454 children, have been injured by Israeli forces, including 1,739 from live ammunition according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. As of April 27, the death toll has reached 48 and additional hundreds wounded.

      “Even the BBC has shown films of the deliberate shooting of people who were standing harmlessly or running away, including children and journalists (6). The sniper-fire is mostly not to the head, with most of the wounds to the lower torso and legs. Dozens have needed emergency amputation of either one or both legs, and a further 1,300 required immediate external fixations which will entail an estimated 7,800 hours of subsequent complex reconstructive surgery if the limbs are to be saved. This is calculated maiming. More may die or incur life-long disability because of the degraded state of health services and the prohibition by Israel of the transfer for the seriously wounded (7). How is Gaza to survive this situation? And meanwhile, the many that have lost non-emergency healthcare because of the ongoing lack of medicines and energy will be joined by many more now that all scarce resources are going to life and limb saving efforts.

      “Whilst various UN and WHO agencies have condemned Israeli actions, Western governments have not uttered a murmur and thus bolster the impunity Israel seems always to have enjoyed in its treatment of Palestinian society. Others who seek to document and to draw attention to events like this, including in medical journals, are often subject to vilifying ad hominem attacks, as have journal editors (8). These are matters of international shame.
      “Derek Summerfield, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College, University of London,” et al.

      • Jackdaw on May 5, 2018, 12:57 pm

        @Mister 0

        Thanks for the distraction, but my comment only concerned the claim of ‘explosive bullets’.

        Your comments and links to not address whether ‘explosive bullets’ are being used.

      • Misterioso on May 6, 2018, 1:36 pm


        My reason for providing the above links was to bring to light further completely reputable and overwhelming evidence of the utter barbarism and flagrant violations of international humanitarian law that the fascistic entity know as “Israel” is guilty of on an ongoing basis.

        You, however, are an eager supporter of and hence, an accessory to these monstrous crimes.

  3. jon s on May 6, 2018, 1:38 pm

    Have I missed something? When and where is the “Great March of Return” going to take place?

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