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Israel praises ‘exceptionally restrained’ protests in Gaza after killing 4 Palestinians, three of them teenagers

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At least four Palestinians were killed and over 300 were injured on Saturday during massive demonstrations marking the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return in Gaza.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that as of 10:40 pm, Israeli forces had shot and killed four Palestinians and injured 316.

Three of the four slain Palestinians were identified by the ministry as 20-year-old Mohammed Jehad Sa’ad, who was killed on Saturday morning before the protests kicked off, and 17-year-olds Adham Nedal Amara and Tamer Hashim Abu al-Khair, who were both killed during demonstrations.

Local Palestinian news agency Quds News Network identified the fourth Palestinian as another 17-year-old, Belal Mahmoud Najjar.

In a post on Facebook, Quds News posted photos of Abu al-Khair, saying:

Friends of Tamer’s assured that he had been desperately looking for a job. Unemployment is one serious issue resulted by the Israeli siege on Gaza.

The borders’ marches give Tamer and many others the chance to protest and demand a better life.

Israel deprived Tamer of a job, and killed him when he demanded one.

Tamer Abu al-Khair, 17, was killed by Israeli forces during the protests on the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return (Quds News Network)

According to the ministry, five people were reported to be in critical condition, and another nine in serious condition, as of 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The ministry added that 64 people were injured with live ammunition, and that among the total injured, 86 were children.

An estimated 40,000 Gazans took to the eastern border with Israel on Saturday, waving Palestinian flags and carrying  signs demanding their right to return and an end to the siege.

The protests, as they did when they launched last year, coincided with Land Day, when Palestinian commemorate the 1967 massacre of six Palestinians protesting Israel’s expropriation of their land.

In preparation for the demonstrations and expected violence from Israeli snipers across the borders, health workers in Gaza set up a series of large medical tents with dozens of beds, and medics and ambulances on standby.

One of the emergency treatment tents set up by medics in Gaza for the Great March of Return anniversary protests on March 30,2019. (Source: Palestinian Ministry of Health)

Meanwhile, Israeli forces had deployed 200 snipers across the border, doubled their number of troops, and extended the height of its existing militarized border fence in preparations for the protest.

Barbed wire has been added to the Gaza fence in anticipation of the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return

Barbed wire has been added to the Gaza fence in anticipation of the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return, March 22, 2019. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Leading up to Saturday’s march, reports surfaced saying that Palestinian factions in Gaza had agreed to quell the anniversary protests in return for Israel easing a number of restrictions on Gaza’s borders, imports and exports, and fishing zones.

By Saturday evening, as protests wound down, Israeli media reported that due to the “successful efforts” by Hamas to “restrain protests,” Israel would be reopening Gaza borders and the enclave’s fishing zone, which had been completely closed by the Israeli army following rocket fire from Gaza last week.

Haaretz reported that “if quiet is maintained,” Israel would continue to ease other restrictions “at a later time.”

According to Haaretz, Israeli army spokesman Ronen Manelis praised the “exceptionally restrained” protests, saying “the restraint Hamas exercised today was such that we hadn’t seen over the past year. There were hundreds of Hamas personnel who wore orange vests and prevented demonstrators from reaching the [border] fence.”

Manelis’ statement made no mention of the four Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, or of the dozens of protesters shot with live ammunition.

In the predawn hours of Sunday morning, Israeli forces conducted several airstrikes across the Gaza Strip after rockets from Gaza landed in open areas in southern Israel, injuring no one.

Despite the flare up, Israeli media reported, the government would move forward with its promises to ease border and fishing restrictions.

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About Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss. Follow her on Twitter at @yumna_patel

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7 Responses

  1. Ossinev
    Ossinev on March 31, 2019, 2:49 pm

    “Israel praises ‘exceptionally restrained’ protests in Gaza after killing 4 Palestinians, three of them teenagers”

    Only four murders. There might well will an internal investigation within the most moral to establish the cause for this alarming drop off in kill rates and the threat to the Zio incremental genocide solution.. Perhaps a few more moral murders in the West Bank will do the trick. Perhaps GruppenFuhrer Bennett will be asking for a special kill voucher and will bring along his girlfriend Shaked to show her the ropes and register her first kills. She is definitely up for it.
    “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

  2. CigarGod
    CigarGod on April 1, 2019, 12:32 am

    ‘Yes, we deployed 200 snipers to shoot children, but please don’t compare us to war criminals.’

  3. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot on April 1, 2019, 3:52 am

    The measure for calm restraint is the amount of coffee served.
    The protests were calm since the snipers had all the time to sip from their lattes in between their shots. ‘Violent clashes’ means a significant drop in lattes served.

  4. Ossinev
    Ossinev on April 1, 2019, 9:47 am

    “There were hundreds of Hamas personnel who wore orange vests”
    The orange vests won`t stop them being murdered when the most moral snipers have a “do you know what this restraint crap is boring I think I`ll take out a few Untermenschens” day.

  5. Misterioso
    Misterioso on April 1, 2019, 9:57 am

    No wonder there is a mass exodus of Jews, especially youth, from the entity known as “Israel” and immigration is plummeting. What sane person would want anything to do with that abomination?

  6. klm90046
    klm90046 on April 1, 2019, 5:53 pm

    Four precious lives lost. And how many square inches of Palestinian land recovered?

    I don’t see what Palestinian leadership may be thinking. And those orange vests remind me of kapos in German concentration camps. They were the last to be killed, but killed they were.

    Wake up, Palestinians. Find your George Washington who will unite you, energize you, motivate you, arm you, train you, then lead you through a war of independence. Nothing else will work.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on April 1, 2019, 8:19 pm

      “Find your George Washington…/…war of independence.

      And most of all, retain the advantage of complete surprise by disclosing nothing of these preparations to Israel.

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