During March 30th of 2018, thousands of Palestinians peacefully assembled in Gaza for The Great Return March only to be met with hostile force and violence from the Israeli military on the other side of the border. Shockingly, there were more than 500 victims of head and neck bullet wound injuries that were the result of Israeli sniper gunfire.
The Palestinian Ministry reported 12,844 Palestinian victims of violence from March 30th until May 21st including 332 fatalities.
The Israeli soldiers were even caught cheering on camera as they shot into crowds of unarmed civilians. Some protesters were seen throwing rocks and burning tires but did not behave in a way that warranted thousands of bullets being shot at them; Israeli soldiers claimed that one nurse they killed was throwing grenades when in fact she was throwing a tear gas grenade away from her which had been tossed nearby.
Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesperson for the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, reported the number and locations of injured Palestinians in May. A statement from the International Middle East Media Center:
“502 Palestinians were shot in the head and neck.
283 were shot in the chest and back.
225 were shot in the abdomen and pelvis.
938 were shot in the arm.
325 were shot in the leg.
1,117 suffered various cuts and bruises to several parts of their bodies.
He also said that 27 of the wounded Palestinians suffered amputations in their legs, one in his arm, and four others had some fingers severed by Israeli fire.
Dr. al-Qedra added that the soldiers also shot and killed one medic, and injured 323 others with live fire and gas bombs, in addition to causing damage to 37 ambulances.”
The Great Return March occurred on Palestinian Land Day at the end of March which was celebrated until May 15th which is known as Nobka Day. This year marked the 70th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians which was why we saw protests continue for weeks and why many passionate Palestinians were making their voices heard. The story garnered international headlines and press attention but not without first being watered down to the public in an attempt to portray the resilient Palestinians as being violent or deserving of getting killed.
Journalist Abby Martin, who visited Palestine for a firsthand look to understand the crisis, says she believes we are witnessing what is possibly the last decade of apartheid.
“I guess if there is some sort of glimmer of hope or silver lining I guess it’s that the U.S. has isolated itself in such extreme lengths that it looks so indefensible what’s going on right now. And the fact that the U.S. and Israel are so tightly aligned and that there is literally no line that either of these countries can’t cross. That reflects very poorly on the rest of the world. How much longer is the rest of the world going to accept this? I don’t know.” – Abby Martin
With Nikki Haley failing to get other countries on board to blame Hamas for the violence and with the way the media scrambles to spin the violence inflicted upon thousands of unarmed people, one can only hope this is the beginning of the end for Palestine’s violent oppression.