GAZA HOSPITALS DEPLETED: Great Return March Update

By Ariyana Love

Last Friday was the 5th week of Palestine’s Great Return March protest, which is scheduled to continue through May 15th.

Despite ongoing international condemnation, Israel continues to use lethal force, suppressing the unarmed civilians who are vulnerable in the face of the heavily armed Israeli snipers stationed at the borders.

International law allows all people on Earth to assemble in protest, but when Palestinians do it they are gassed, maimed, executed and weapons tested on. Journalists, Medics and children are no exception.

Over 700 civilians were wounded last Friday. Over 6000 Palestinians have been deliberately targeted and 42 killed, since the start of this Great Return March.

14 journalists have been shot to date and three assassinated with internationally banned, explosive lead bullets, whose fragmented pieces rip through bones and vital organs upon impact. Of the three journalists killed, one was administered a kill shot to his head while the other two were shot in the abdomen, beneath their clearly marked PRESS vests. All three of these journalists were killed with banned, explosive bullets.

Four children have been shot dead by Israeli forces, three of them by a bullet to the head or neck. 233 more children have been injured by live ammunition. Some of them sustatained injuries that will result in lifelong disabilities, including through the amputation of limbs.

According to the ICSPR in Gaza, the majority of bullets being fired on protesters, by Israeli snipers, are banned explosive bullets.

Israeli forces are also testing a new kind of chemical weapon on the Gaza protesters. There are three kinds of gas which has been reported and documented. Regular tear gas, a white gas and a green gas. Dozens of people are still injured from the nerve agent and in a coma, due to the gases dramatic impact on their nervous system.

The nerve agent in this chemical cocktail is still unknown. Gaza does not have the capability to test samples in order to determine what the chemical substance is. That is the job of the international community. Therefore, Gaza Doctors do not know how to treat the victims.

An international investigation has not be opened into these crimes, thus no international delegation was sent to Gaza to investigate.

Gaza hospitals are depleted of all supplies

The Ministry of Health reported that they cannot be sure of the overall statistics of those wounded by the chemical weapons, because for one thing, the numbers are climbing every day.

The ICSPR has informed me that Gaza hospitals are depleted of absolutely everything and due to this, the hospitals are empty. Patients are being sent home, even with severe injuries, to await their fate because “we can do nothing to help them.” It becomes impossible to track people’s injuries and their recovery process. Fars news reported:

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also stated its medical teams have given post-operative care to people “with devastating injuries of an unusual severity, which are extremely complex to treat”.

“The injuries sustained by patients will leave most with serious, long-term physical disabilities,” the aid group stressed.

“Half of the more than 500 patients we have admitted in our clinics have injuries where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone,” Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, the organization’s head of mission in the Palestinian territories, said.

Israel had previously deployed military vehicles and special forces, including 100 snipers, to Gaza’s border, while the Occupation’s leaders authorized “Shoot to Kill” orders on Gaza protesters, including children.

Multiple human rights organizations have come out in full condemnation of Israel’s aggression against the thousands of unarmed civilian protesters in the besieged strip of land.

Fars News reported: Human Rights Watch (HRW) slammed Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters as “unlawful” and “calculated”, saying those officials who authorized the Israeli military to use lethal force ahead of the mass rallies in Gaza are to blame for the bloodshed.

The HRW added that footage of the Gaza demonstrations includes no evidence of protesters using firearms, questioning the Israeli claim that the number of Palestinians injured by live ammunition was likely in the dozens.

Does the UN really expect Israel to hold itself accountable?

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein finally released the very first UN statement last Friday, regarding Israeli atrocities against Gaza protesters:

“Images of a child being shot as he runs away from Israeli security forces are downright shocking,” he added, referring to the case of 14 year-old Mohammad Ayyoub who was killed by a bullet to the head on 20 April.

He also stated that Israel should investigate itself for any wrongdoing against unarmed Gaza protesters. We all remember what Israel did to the civilian population of Gaza in 2014. They exterminated entire families while they were in their very own homes, with 2000 lbs F-16 bombs. Israel was allowed to investigate itself and found no wrong doing, despite the fact the Russell Tribunal on Palestine determining Israel carried out an “Extermination of People,” which is one crime below genocide. 

The UN statement failed to mentioned Israel’s use of internationally banned bullets and chemical weapons testing. Are they deliberately trying to avoid opening an investigation by omitting documented evidence (video’s, photo’s, medical and human rights reports)?

Meanwhile, Amnesty International released a much more comprehensive and thorough report last Friday, which covers Israel’s use of internationally banned weapons, but does not mention the evidence of chemical warfare testing. They did reinforce their previous call for an Arms Embargo on Israel.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza, informed the ICSPR that there are at present, dozens of people in a coma from the chemical gas which Israel used on protesters.

WARNING – Below are disturbing images from last Friday’s protest in Gaza. I feel it’s necessary to include them in this article because Israeli Crimes Against Humanity are being heavily censored by mainstream media and social media platforms. These were uploaded by various citizen’s journalists onto Twitter.

A Palestinian child was administered a kill shot to his head while playing with balloons with other children.

This Palestinian youth was targeted in his head with a tear gas canister. He died slowly and painfully.

More journalists were targeted and shot by Israeli snipers.

A medics tent was fired upon with tear gas.

Ariyana Love

Ariyana Love is Founder of Occupy Palestine TV, TLB Director of Middle East Rising and Goodwill Ambassador to Palestine (ICSPR, Gaza). Ariyana is Chairwoman of Meta Nutrients Trust, a Human Rights Defender and Activist.

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