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On sixth Friday of Gaza protests, Israeli snipers shoot 70, but kill none

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“You! the one with the red T-shirt that has just insulted me, as a the son of a bitch. I promise to respond to you. We are ready for everything.” An Israeli soldier says by loudspeaker to the young men demonstrating in the weekly march on the Gaza border.

But the soldier’s threat did not compel hundreds of young men who’d gathered close to the fence between Gaza and Israel to step back, despite the intensity of tear gas canisters fired by soldiers towards the masked protesters, as well as the heat of the day, reaching 35 degrees Celsius (104 F) east of the town of Khuza’a in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

“Give the one-finger salute, guys! ” One of the protesters cheered. And the protesters did so, responding to the threats of the soldier, who characterized them by shirt color, saying: “You the yellow T-shirt guy! I heard you and saw you when you insulted me, ​​I have no problem shooting you as I did during the past Fridays.”

Palestinians in Gaza held their sixth Friday rally as part of the Great March of Return. The protests commemorate the “Nakba,” or Catastrophe, the displacement of Palestinians from lands that would become Israel in 1948. On Friday demonstrators highlighted the plight of Palestinian workers and the unemployed in a demonstration labeled “Friday of Workers.”

Beginning in the morning, protesters brought tires to within 500 yards of the border, preparing to set fire to them and roll them toward the fence, and use them as a smokescreen to counter Israeli snipers behind the sandy hills.

Young men bring tires to border, May 4, 2018. Photo by Mohammed Asad

Young men bring tires to border, May 4, 2018. Photo by Mohammed Asad

Activists calling themselves “the tires unit” arrived on a truck laden with tires. May 4, 2018. Photo by Mohammed Asad

The slingshot is the only ‘weapon’ of some demonstrators. Their small stones rarely reach beyond the fence, though slingshots managed to knock down two Israeli drones, causing them to crash in the sky of Khuza’a.

At least 70 Palestinians were injured by Israeli live fire Friday, the lowest casualty toll since the protests began. Medics also treated 1,073 people, for tear gas inhalation, the Gaza health ministry said.

The protests were backed by “logistical support” from women who had prepared large bags of croissants filled with thyme, cheese and spinach, to be distributed free to demonstrators. “I woke up early in the morning to prepare 300 croissants,” Fatima Dalloul, 44, told Mondoweiss.

Fatima, a mother of 8 children, prepared her fast food packages with her neighbors in the Abasan neighborhood. “The majority of these young people are poor and need to feel that their mothers support their weekly mobilizing. While it is true that we are concerned that youths might be killed, we must support them and their right to return to stolen lands.”

An attempt to damage the security fence, Gaza, May 4, 2018. Photo by Mohammed Asad.

Since the first protest March 30, 44 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,700 injured by Israeli fire. Friday marked the first weekly protest in which no Palestinian were reported killed by sunset.

One protester, Abdullah Al-Mughrabi, 39, came with his family and held a poster asserting the right of return. “I have nothing to lose,” he said. “The whole world must know our right to return.” Abdullah’s origins are the city of Jaffa, which his grandfather was forced to abandon in 1948.

“Seventy years of disaster is enough for us,” Abdullah added. “The siege treats us like animals in a stockyard without rights. Even a poor Somali can get medical treatment, travel and free trade. But we are not pirates, we are a people deprived of our rights, with the consent of the United Nations.”

Israelis showered Palestinians with tear gas on Gaza border, May 4, 2018. Photo by Mohammed Asad.

Crowds were smaller today’s afternoon than in previous weeks, with Gazans saying they predict a large rally on May 14th, when the U.S will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The U.S. move angered Palestinian leaders, who have refused to talk to the Trump administration, accusing it of pro-Israel bias. Israel’s government celebrated the U.S. decision, saying it recognized the “reality” that Jerusalem was the historic capital of the Jewish people.

In the “Malaka” area of protests, on the border 19 miles north of Khuza’a, demonstrators celebrated the arrival of Mahmoud Abu Araza, who was born in 1953, five years after his parents were displaced from al-Majdal, now called Ashkelon. He said he had stopped caring about the fog of teargas that did not fade away for all seven hours of protest.

Mahmoud Abu Araza, May 4, 2018. Photo by Mohammed Asad

“All these hundreds of young men are my sons, and I will not leave them until they return to Ashkelon, Jaffa and Jerusalem,” Abu Araza, a grandfather of 45 children, told Mondoweiss.

He asked, “Are the Palestinians to be forced to live in misery throughout their lives due to the last occupation in the world?”

The whole world is living in freedom, compared to Palestine, he said. “I think that slavery still exists as long as Israel breathes.. I have never seen a happy day in my life because of Israel,” Abu Araza said.

Ahmad Kabariti

Ahmad Kabariti is a freelance journalist based in Gaza.

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11 Responses

  1. Boris on May 7, 2018, 10:58 am

    Israeli snipers shoot 70, but kill none.

    Amazing accuracy and discipline!!!

    I know mondos are disappointed…

    • jackal on May 7, 2018, 12:22 pm

      Amazing accuracy indeed! Telescopic rifles, within a couple of hundred metres. Like shooting fish in a barrel of water. I think the negative public relations you are getting throughout the rest of the world, even from Jewish Americans (JVP for example) might have something to do with it. Your “soldiers?” are within hearing distance of the unarmed Palestinians. Wow! A real shooting gallery.
      PS: I’m an 81-year old Canadian who has plans on visiting Jerusalem next year to protest the Jewish Israeli apartheid government. Are you going to shoot me too?

      • Boris on May 9, 2018, 11:22 am

        >>> Are you going to shoot me too?

        Make an appointment and make sure to engage in a violent act.

    • Jethro on May 7, 2018, 6:31 pm

      Israeli snipers shoot 70, but kill none.

      Amazing accuracy and discipline!!!

      I’m trying to understand here. Are you praising Israeli soldiers for the barbaric act of shooting unarmed protesters?

    • Mooser on May 7, 2018, 6:54 pm

      “Amazing accuracy and discipline!!!”

      Will there be a public ceremony with medals and close-ups for the snipers?

      • Boris on May 9, 2018, 11:28 am

        Why not?

        Nobody was killed, the threat eliminated (at least for awhile), hopefully Arabs had learned some lesson, and no one, except mondos, are protesting. But they would protest any Israeli action…

      • Mooser on May 9, 2018, 12:17 pm

        “Why not?”

        Yeah, I’ll look forward to them. For all you know, “Boris”, the snipers were hired mercenaries.

    • okeefecybermesa on May 7, 2018, 7:05 pm

      Like the accuracy and discipline it would take to rip your grandmother as she walks by with her cane. You are a very, very sick person and a primary reason we have the hate and war, oppression and brutality by which you apparently are more than happy to live with, or as, more aptly put. Gawd forbid you and yours should ever again be treated as you now threat the Gazans and Palestinians in general. Despicable, that’s you

  2. shaun patrick on May 8, 2018, 1:34 am

    More high fives after shooting 70 unarmed civilians with some probably injured for life then pats on the back and beers all round. I’m sure the IDF officers heaped praise on the snipers for a job well done. How these so called soldiers can live with themselves is beyond me. There was an interview with a World War2 vet recently and he talked about kiling a German 75 years ago and he cried over the memory and that is a real soldier!!

  3. hellsbells on May 9, 2018, 5:43 pm

    What beautiful eyes on the dude on the stretcher. Amazing how much information is carried by so few pixels.

  4. hellsbells on May 9, 2018, 6:00 pm

    reaching 35 degrees Celsius (104 F)

    Seriously! You can’t remember that 38C = 100F and see the error here?

    35C = 95F

    If you don’t think there is a huge difference between 95F and 104F you haven’t lived in summer here. Little things need to be accurate for bigger things to be seen as correct.

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