Julie Webb-Pullman reports

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UN Human Rights spokesperson condemns “appalling, deadly violence in Gaza”

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville

 Location:      Geneva

 Subject:        (1) Gaza

We condemn the appalling, deadly violence in Gaza yesterday during which 58 Palestinians were killed and almost 1,360 demonstrators were injured with live ammunition by Israeli security forces. Of those injured, 155 are in critical condition. Six children and a health worker were among those who lost their lives, and 10 journalists suffered injuries from gunshot wounds. The already crumbling health care system in Gaza has been placed under incredible strain and those suffering life-threatening injuries face a nightmarish scenario in the absence of adequate hospital beds and medical services. We are still witnessing cases in which injured demonstrators are effectively prevented by Israel from exiting Gaza for treatment.

 The rules on the use of force under international law have been repeated many times but appear to have been ignored again and again. It seems anyone is liable to be shot dead or injured: women, children, press personnel, first responders, bystanders, and at almost any point up to 700m from the fence.

 A number of the demonstrators approached the fence, threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces personnel, and flew kites laden with petrol soaked material. Some tried to damage the fence that separates Gaza from Israel. Others burnt tires. Israeli forces responded with tear gas, plastic bullets and various types of live ammunition, some causing horrific wounds and lifelong disability. We stress, again, that lethal force may only be used as a measure of last – not first – resort, and only when there is an immediate threat to life or serious injury. An attempt to approach or crossing or damaging the fence do not amount to a threat to life or serious injury and are not sufficient grounds for the use of live ammunition. This is also the case with regards to stones and molotov cocktails being thrown from a distance at well-protected security forces located behind defensive positions.

 Again, we call for independent, transparent investigations in all cases of death and injury since 30 March. Since 30 March, 112 Palestinians, including 14 children, have lost their lives at the fence and thousands have been injured.

 We are extremely worried about what may happen today – an emotional day on all sides – and in the weeks ahead. We urge maximum restraint. Enough is enough.

 (Arabic version available on http://www.ohchr.org/AR/Pages/Home.aspx)

UNRWA dismayed by loss of life and injuries in Gaza

Statement by UNRWA Spokesperson, Chris Gunness

Jerusalem 14 May 2018

UNRWA is dismayed by the deaths and injuries in Gaza today of dozens of civilians, including children. The Agency unreservedly condemns the excessive use of force employed against demonstrators, who have the right to peaceful assembly and expression.

 The population in the Gaza Strip has been exposed to the consequences of repeated armed conflicts and a stifling blockade over the past decade. Today’s violence and loss of life will add yet another layer of trauma onto an already untenable situation.

 UNRWA is specifically alarmed by the impact the latest developments have had on Palestine refugees, who constitute over 70 percent of Gaza’s population. Since 30 March, when what has become known as the “Great March of Return” started, at least 4 UNRWA students have been killed and some 125 injured.

 Behind the numbers, there are shattered lives, destinies and limbs. In many cases the injuries sustained are very severe and likely to result in life-long disabilities. UNRWA supports calls for investigations into these grave incidents in accordance with international standards to ensure accountability for violations of international law.

 The risk is high to see similar violence occur again in the coming days. Collective international mobilization is  therefore urgently required to prevent further loss of life and injury. Every additional casualty is a defeat for humanity.

Seven Palestinian journalists injured by gunfire in Gaza protests

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

Beirut, May 14, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the use of gunfire by Israeli forces against journalists covering protests today in the Gaza Strip. At least seven Palestinian journalists have been injured by Israeli gunfire while covering today’s demonstrations, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), reports shared on social media by media outlets and journalists, and CPJ interviews with local journalists Saud Abu Ramadan and Moneeb Saada.

Thousands of Palestinians have been protesting for seven consecutive weeks over Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their pre-1948 homes, news reports said. Today marks the 70th anniversary of what Israel claims as its independence day and Palestinians call Nakba Day to commemorate their displacement from Israel. Today’s protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip also coincided with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, according to news reports.

“The number of Palestinian journalists injured by gunfire in Gaza has grown by the week,” CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour said from Washington, D.C. “The fact that Israeli authorities have ignored demands that they halt the use of live fire against journalists reinforces the perception that they do not want the world to see what is happening in Gaza.”

The following journalists were injured by gunfire today:

  • Omar Hamdan, a cameraperson for the state-owned Algerian Television, was hit in his left leg by a live round while covering protests east of Gaza City, according to news reports, the PJSreports shared on social media by news outlets, and local journalists Ramadan and Saada.

 

  • Mohammed Abu Dahrouj, a cameraperson for the media production company Zain Media, was hit in his right leg by a live round while covering protests east of Gaza City, according to reports shared on social media by news outlets, the PJS, Ramadan, and Saada.

 

  • Abdullah al-Shorbagi, a reporter for the local Hamas-affiliated Khan Younis Media Network, was hit in the left foot by a live round while covering protests east of Khan Younis, according to his employer, the PJS, reports shared by local journalists and news outlets on social media, Ramadan, and Saada.

 

  • Farhan Hashem Abu Hadayd, a reporter for the local news website Safad Press, was hit in his left leg by a live round while covering protests east of Rafah, according to news reports, the PJS, reports and pictures shared by media outlets, and local human rights activist Mohammed Abdullah.

 

  • Yasser Qudeih, a freelance photographer for the Hamas-affiliated daily Palestine, was hit in his abdomen by a live round while covering protests east of Gaza City, according to reports shared on Facebook by news outlets, Ramadan, and Saada. He is currently under observation in the intensive care unit at the European Hospital in Gaza, according to Saada.

 

  • Nihad Fuad, a reporter for the community radio station Forsan al-Erada, was hit in the head by a live round while covering protests in the southern Gazan city of Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, according to Facebook reports by media outlets, Ramadan, and Saada. He has been transferred for treatment to the European Hospital in Gaza, according to Saada.

 

  • Wael Dahdouh, a reporter for the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera, was injured in the right hand by gunfire while covering protests east of Gaza City, according to his employernews reportsreports on social media, Ramadan, and Saada.

 

In addition to the seven journalists injured by direct fire, Mohammed al-Duwaik, a cameraperson for the local news agency Itehad Press, was hit in his arms by shrapnel from an explosive device while he was covering protests east of Gaza City, according to Al-Duwaik and the PJS.

The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately reply to CPJ’s email requesting comment.

Since the protests began on March 30, 2018, CPJ has documented that live rounds fired by the Israel Defense Force have hit at least 22 journalists, two of whom–Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein–later died from their injuries.

B’Tselem: Firing live ammunition at Gaza demonstrators shows appalling indifference to human life

PRESS RELEASE

B’Tselem

The demonstrations held in Gaza today came as no surprise. Israel had plenty of time to come up with alternate approaches for dealing with the protests, apart from firing live ammunition.

The fact that live gunfire is once again the sole measure that the Israeli military is using in the field evinces appalling indifference towards human life on the part of senior Israeli government and military officials.

B’Tselem calls for an immediate halt to the killing of Palestinian demonstrators.

If the relevant officials do not issue an order to stop the lethal fire, the soldiers in the field must refuse to comply with these manifestly unlawful open-fire orders.

Gaza Ministry of Health Detailed Statistics

Ministry Of Health – International Cooperation Directorate 

Detailed Statistics

The Peaceful Great Return March

08:30 PM  14 May 2018
55 Martyrs                 2771 Casualties

Martyrs 

6 children under the age of 18
1 female child

Casualties 

225 Children
79 Females

Medical points 1011
Hospitals 1760

Injuries Severity

🛌 76 Critical, 54 very critical
🛌 1294 Moderate
🛌 1347 Minor

Cause of Injury

1359 Live Ammunition
14 Rubber-coated metal bullets
155 Shrapnel in the body.
263 Others.
980 Gas.
Location of the Wounds

90 Head and Neck
192 Upper Limbs
62 Chest and Back
54 Abdomen and Pelvis
1218 Lower Limbs
980 Gas inhaliation
175 Other

Direct targeting of medical staff and Journalists led to 
1 Martyr – Civil Defense
5 Ambulances were partially damaged
17 Paramedics (gas suffocation and live ammunition)
12 Journalists

​​​​​​International Cooperation Directorate​​​​​​

Gaza border protests to continue as Public employees go on strike

 

The Public Employees’ Union in Gaza has announced a comprehensive strike on Tuesday and closes all ministries, institutions and government departments except for hospitals and emergency medical services.

SA WITHDRAWS ISRAEL AMBASSADOR AFTER GAZA DEADLY ATTACK

SOURCE: EYEWITNESS NEWS

SA flag

JOHANNESBURG – The South African government has condemned in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border, which has led to the deaths of over 40 people following a peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

In a statement released on Monday evening, the Department of International Relations (Dirco) says: “The latest attack has resulted in scores of other Palestinian citizens reported injured, and the wanton destruction of property.”

It adds: “Given the indiscriminate and gravity of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice.”

Gaza Journalist moved to ICU

motasem

Motasem Dalloul, Palestinian journalist and Middle East Monitor’s Gaza correspondent, is now in a critical condition, and has been moved to the intensive care unit in Shifa hospital.

Dalloul was shot in the abdomen and back by Israeli snipers using explosive bullets while he covered the #GreatReturnMarch protests at the border on Friday, 11 May.

Gaza MOI confronts fake news

Press Statement

There is no truth to what is being propagated through some media about the Interior Ministry’s demand for citizens to evacuate the Great March of Return camps.

Iyad al-Bazem

Spokesman for the Ministry of Interior and National Security

Monday 14 May, 2018

UN MEDIA ADVISORY ON GAZA

GENEVA (May 14, 2018) — At the conclusion of its 95th Session, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued the following Statement:

 PREVENTION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, INCLUDING EARLY WARNING AND URGENT ACTION PROCEDURES

 Statement

 Israel

 The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, meeting in Geneva at its ninety-fifth session, from 23 April to 11 May 2018,

 Acting under its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedures;

 Alarmed by the disproportionate use of force displayed by the Israeli Security Forces (ISF) against Palestinian demonstrators who have been taking part, since 30 March, in the so called ‘the Great March of Return’ in Gaza, which has resulted in the death of at least 40 people, among them five children and in thousands of persons being injured;

 Gravely concerned that many of the persons who died or were injured were reportedly posing no imminent threat at the time they were shot;

 Alarmed also by the many reports according to which Israeli authorities have denied and continue to deny access to urgent medical treatment to injured Palestinians;

 Highly concerned that these incidents are taking place in a context marked by the 50 year- occupation of the Palestinian territory, the blockade imposed since 2007 on the Gaza strip and a rise of racist hate speech and incitement to racist violence against Palestinians by Israeli governmental officials and members of the ISF;

 Deeply worried about persisting discriminatory practices against Palestinians by Israel as well as the absence of adequate accountability mechanisms, which would permit Palestinians to seek justice for the human rights violations to which they are subjected and the failure to hold members of the ISF accountable;

 Concerned that while the State party publicly announced the conduct of an investigation into these events, an independent and impartial investigation has not yet taken place;

 Recalling the provisions enshrined in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which Israel has been a party since 1979 and in particular the obligations contained in articles 2 1), 4 and 5 b) and d) as well as the concluding observations on Israel issued by the Committee in 2012 (CERD/C/ISR/CO/14-16), especially paragraphs 10, 23, 24 and 26;

 The Committee urges the State party to:

  1.  Put an immediate end to the disproportionate use of force against Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza strip, refrain from any act that could lead to further casualties and ensure prompt and unimpeded access to medical treatment to injured Palestinian;
  1. Initiate an impartial and independent investigation into the use of force against Palestinian demonstrators in compliance with international standards and hold those responsible accountable;
  1. Ensurethat all Palestinians under its effective control enjoy full rights under the Convention without discrimination especially, their right to life and security of person, freedom of opinion and expression, as well as their right to medical care;
  1. Takeall the necessary measures to fully implement the recommendations made by the Committee in 2012 and in particular:
  1. a) To fully respect the norms of humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to lift the blockade of the Gaza strip;
  1. b) To counter the tide of racism and xenophobia in public discourse, in particular by strongly condemning all racist and xenophobic statements by public officials and political and religious leaders, and by implementing appropriate measures to combat the proliferation of racist acts and manifestations of racist hate speech that particularly target Palestinians in the territories under the State party’s effective control.

2637th meeting

8 May 2018