Al-Quds (GPA) – Thousands of protesters in Gaza marched towards the Gazan border Friday, under the theme of “Al-Aqsa Friday.” Yesterday marked the 27th week of protests since the Great Return March demonstrations began six months ago on March 30.
Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) killed seven Palestinians and injured at least 520 more by firing live ammunition and rubber-coated bullets at the protestors.
Among those killed included Iyad Khalil Shaer, Mohammad Ali Inshasi, and Mohammad Ali Inshasi — all 18 years old — as well as Mohammad Walid Haniya and Mohammad Bassam Shakhsa — both 24 — and Mohammad Ashraf Awawda, 23.
Two children were also shot dead as they joined protestors. Mohammad Nayef al-Hom, 14, was shot in the chest and Naser Musabih, just 12 years old, died after IOF snipers shot him in the head.
“A child was shot in the chest with Israeli snipers..💔💔”
Read more about the Great Return March and the US-backed Israeli occupation of Palestine:
2018 is a record-breaking year for child fatalities thanks to the IOF with at least 41 children killed as of Friday’s protests.
The injured this week included 35 children and four women, according to the Gazan Ministry of Health. The IOF also launched tear gas canisters, coupled with open fire, in attempts to disperse the crowd of protestors.
Friday’s demonstrations resulted in the highest Palestinian death toll during the protests since May 14 when 55 Palestinians were killed and over 2771 injured in the span of just a few hours after the United States and Israeli entity announced moving the American embassy to occupied Jerusalem.
UN official Jamie McGoldrick condemned this week’s death toll citing “increasing frustrations” over “worsening conditions” as the motivation behind the continuation of the demonstrations.
“I am deeply saddened by reports that seven Palestinians, including two children, were killed, and hundreds of others injured, by Israeli forces during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip yesterday,” he said in a Saturday statement. “This is the highest fatality toll in a single day since 14 May 2018, when 42 Palestinians were killed.”
Friday also marked the 18th anniversary of the Al-Aqsa intifada, launched in 2000 in response to Ariel Sharon’s provocative entrance of the Haram as-Sharif site (where the Al-Aqsa mosque is located) accompanied by thousands of security forces.
The 2000 uprising began as an after-effect of the failures of negotiations in the aftermath the July 2000 Camp David talks, conducted under the auspices of the United States. They ended in 2005 with a ceasefire agreement mandating Israel’s withdrawal from the territories and soon after cementing Hamas’s control of Gaza.
The state of Palestine also recently filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the US citing Palestine’s membership in the 1961 Vienna Convention.
Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said the US’s embassy move to Jerusalem was a violation of the agreement, reaffirming Palestine’s rights without “hesitation and reject all forms of political and financial extortion.”
Featured photo: Moneed Saadeh
Julia Kassem is an independent journalist based between Detroit and Beirut.