Shoot and abandon: How Israel punishes child protesters in besieged Gaza

Feb 06,2020

'In addition to more than 200 Palestinians who were killed, by the end of January 2020, some 8,000 demonstrators were wounded by live ammunition, including 1,500 minors and 150 women,' B’Tselem said.

The unlawful open-fire policy Israeli occupation is using allows Israeli soldiers to shoot live fire at unarmed child protesters who endanger no one, Israeli rights group B’Tselem has said.

Such aggressive police “has led to horrific results.”

B’Tselem said: “In addition to more than 200 Palestinians who were killed, by the end of January 2020, some 8,000 demonstrators were wounded by live ammunition, including 1,500 minors and 150 women.

“According to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, by the end of 2019, physicians had to perform limb amputations on 155 protesters, including 30 minors. Twenty-seven demonstrators are paralysed as a result of spinal injuries.

“The severe injuries are only the beginning of a torturous journey which includes treatments, tests, surgeries and adjusting to a new reality.

“In the Gaza Strip, the situation is even more complicated: any health system would be hard-pressed to cope with such a scope of injuries, but Gaza’s was already crippled by a shortage of medications, physicians, equipment and professional training, because of the Israeli siege policy.

“As a result, many of the injured do not manage to receive the medical treatment they need, which in some cases exacerbates their condition, especially considering the shortage of rehabilitation centres in the Gaza Strip.

From the start of the demonstrations through January 2019, WHO revealed, 604 applications to exit Gaza via Erez Crossing for medical treatment in the West Bank or Israel had been submitted.

“Only 17 per cent of the requests were approved, while 83 per cent were rejected – directly or by delaying the issuance of a response,” WHO said.

It added: “In other cases, the wounded are forced to travel to other countries, such as Egypt or Turkey, sometimes at their own expense.”

Click here to read first person accounts for a number of those who had their limbs amputated.

B'Tselem